6 Incumbents Win Nominations in Maryland Primary for Congress

The dust is still settling after a bruising first round in the fight for Maryland's only open congressional seat, the 3rd District.

John P. Sarbanes, the son of retiring U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, won the Democratic nomination Tuesday, but the Republican race was still undecided early Wednesday.

In another contest too close to call, 4th District Democratic Rep. Albert R. Wynn was barely ahead of challenger Donna Edwards in Wynn's closest race since his election to Congress in 1992.

The six other incumbents easily won nomination with little or no opposition.

John Sarbanes, a Baltimore County attorney, topped seven other Democrats vying for the seat left open by Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin's run for the Senate. The district includes parts of Baltimore city and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties.

With 94 percent of the district's precincts reporting, Sarbanes had 32 percent of the vote. His closest competitor, Peter Beilenson, a former Baltimore city health commissioner, had 26 percent.

The eight-way Republican 3rd District race was even tighter. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, John White, owner of an Annapolis sales and marketing company, led the field with 39 percent. Baltimore physician Gary Applebaum had 33 percent. About 1,000 votes separated the two.

The district is heavily Democratic; Cardin won it in 2004 with 63 percent of the vote.

Wynn was struggling to retain his seat in the 4th District, which includes parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties. With 67 percent of precincts reporting, he led Edwards, a Temple Hills lawyer and community activist, with 22,326 votes, or 51 percent. Edwards had 19,939, or 45 percent, and George McDermott had 1,685, or 4 percent.

Wynn has never gotten less than 75 percent of the vote since the 1992 primary, when he beat 12 others by winning 28 percent of the vote.

The Democratic winner will face Republican nominee Michael Moshe Starkman, an Aspen Hill information technology worker, who ran unopposed.

Democratic Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger easily defeated Christopher C. Boardman and will seek a third term representing the 2nd District, encompassing parts of the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford and part of Baltimore city.

Ruppersberger said preventing terrorist attacks is a priority among voters in the district, which includes Fort Meade, the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Port of Baltimore. But he said the government should focus more on homeland and port protection and less on military strategies that put Americans at risk.

"The war isn't just about Iraq; it's about terrorism in the whole world," Ruppersberger said.

Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett Jr. quashed a challenge by Joseph T. Krysztoforski, a retired management consultant from Baltimore County. Bartlett is seeking an eighth term representing the 6th District, which spans the northern tier of counties from the state's western border to the Susquehanna River.

He will face Democrat Andrew Duck, a former Army intelligence officer and Iraq War veteran from Brunswick who works for Northrop Grumman at the Pentagon as a military adviser. Duck beat Barry J.C. Kissin, a Frederick lawyer and peace activist who had urged immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Duck said the Iraq war is the defining issue in the 6th District. He said the government must change its strategy to ensure Iraq's security; Bartlett has supported the war effort and says America's success in Iraq should be measured by a series of clearly stated goals.

Rep. Christopher Van Hollen Jr. defeated Chevy Chase political organizer and peace activist Deborah A. Vollmer to win the Democratic nomination in his bid for a third term representing the 8th District, covering parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

Three incumbents were nominated without primary opposition.

Republican Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest had no GOP opponents in his quest for a ninth term representing the 1st District, covering the Eastern Shore and parts of the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford.

In the general election, Gilchrest will face Jim Corwin, a family physician from Severna Park who defeated two other candidates in the Democratic primary.

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, the delegation's longest-serving member and the House's second-ranking Democrat, is seeking his 14th term representing the 5th District, encompassing southern Maryland. Hoyer was uncontested in the primary.

Hoyer's only opposition in November is Green Party candidate Steve Warner, who works for a small development firm in Saint Mary's County.

Democrat Elijah E. Cummings, who had no primary opponents, is seeking a sixth term in the 7th District, encompassing much of Baltimore city and parts of Baltimore and Harford counties. Cummings has no opposition in the general election.