Maryland Matters [MM] had their assessments of the most competitive House of Delegate races two weeks ago. I wrote previous blogs where I agreed with some their assessment and then wrote a blog where I explained why I disagreed with their analysis on other races which I do not believe will be competitive.
Today I am going to explain competitive races that MM is underestimating.
Democratic Delegates Eric Ebersole and Terri Hill are seeking re-election in this eastern Howard County and western Baltimore County split district.
Del. Clarence Lam is seeking the vacant state senate seat so Democrat Jessica Feldmark is going after Lam’s old seat. But the Republican ticket in District 12 is strong. I heard from an inside source that Republican challenger Melanie Harris is beating Feldmark for the final delegate seat in a poll. Republicans Bob Cockey and Michael Russell (who worked as my intern) also believe they can gain traction in this moderate district.
The poll showed that Ebersole and Hill have name ID, but both Democrats have a horrible liberal voting record for a moderate district. Three different GOP House candidates won the Baltimore County portion of the district in 2014 but lost in Howard County, which is about 2/3 of the district. If the GOP perform better in Howard County, I predict they will pick up at least one seat and maybe more.
This northwest Anne Arundel County district is very similar to District 32 where Gov. Larry Hogan won it in 2014 (and is expected to win it again in 2018) and some of the liberal voting records of the delegates might not go too well with moderate voters.
One Democratic delegate Pam Beidle is going after a vacant senate seat and Del. Mark Chang is seeking re-election as delegate. Del. Ted Sophocleus sadly passed away last year. This leaves two open seats in the House. Republican challengers Mark Bailey, Patty Ewing and Tim Walters have all been endorsed by Hogan and I would not be shocked if the GOP picks up a seat or two in 32.
There is a possibility for the GOP in District 14 and District 15 in Montgomery County. I am not sure, but I think Gov. Hogan won both districts and the GOP slate ran tough races in 2014. District 14 and 15 may not go red but they could still be races to watch. Democratic Del. Michael Jackson in District 27B won his race by five percentage points in 2014 and is being challenged by a strong candidate in Michael Thomas. There is even a chance that Del. Steve Lafferty in District 42A could be in trouble as he is facing GOP candidate Stephen McIntire. Hogan also won District 42A in 2014.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog about the senate races, Hogan popularity helps all Republicans. If the governor continues to do well across the state, it will only help candidates like Thomas, McIntire and the District 14 & 15 GOP slates.