Mark this down. I am guaranteeing that a Republican will pick up at least one seat in District 12. I’m not just stating the GOP “could” win in the all-Democratic District 12, but one candidate will win a seat. Her name is Melanie Harris. She has run a strong campaign, finished first in the Republican primary and will be the top Republican vote getter in the General Election. Some of my GOP friends do not believe District 12 is in play. I strongly disagree. Now I will explain why Harris will win at least one of the seats and could be joined by other Republicans in that district.
District 12 is based two-thirds in eastern Howard County and one- third in western Baltimore County (Catonsville and Arbutus) Democratic Sen. Ed Kasemeyer is retiring, and Democratic Del. Clarence Lam is going after his vacant seat. Eric Ebersol and Terri Hill are the other two incumbent delegates seeking reelection. Democratic newcomer Jessica Feldmark is looking to replace Lam.
On the Republican side, Joe Hooe is going after the vacant state Senate seat and Harris, Bob Cockey and Michael Russell are going for the three delegate seats.
In 2014, a different GOP slate won in the Baltimore County portion of the district but lost in Howard County. This Republican slate has focused hard on the Howard County portion.
This District has a chance to become this year’s District 6 (Dundalk and Essex) where four blue seats can turn red in one night. District 12 is a blue-collar district with a lot of old school Democrats that are not as liberal as its representatives.
Unlike some Democrats in battleground races, District 12 Democrats are not tying themselves to Gov. Larry Hogan. Heck, Ebersol was at the rally when Ben Jealous dropped the F bomb. They also don’t hide from their liberal voting agenda, which includes voting for gun bans, the Home Act and to make Maryland a sanctuary state.
When an internal poll came out in the summer, Ebersol and Hill were head and shoulders above everyone else with their name ID, but Harris was beating Feldmark at that time. So worst case scenario, Harris is getting a seat in third place behind Ebersol and Hill. The question is if Cockey and Russell can catch Ebersol and Hill?
It was a pleasant surprise to see Hooe doing well in a recent poll. Now I don’t know if the internal poll that showed Hooe up by seven over Lam is accurate but if he is tied or even down by two or three points to Lam, the Hogan factor should swing Hooe’s way.
I’m not sure if the GOP team in District 12 is getting two, three or four seats but they are at least getting one. I will guarantee that.