Capital News Service reporters will be reporting live from election night parties as the votes are counted.
Hogan Supporters Surprised at Upset Victory over Brown
ANNAPOLIS — Republican gubernatorial candidate and business owner Larry Hogan Jr. trumped his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Tuesday night in a race that reflected a national and statewide disillusionment with Democratic leaders.
At the Westin hotel in downtown Annapolis, Hogan told a crowd of cheering supporters that “tonight, real change has come to Maryland.”
“We have sent a clear message to Annapolis,” he said. “This race was never a fight between Republicans and Democrats. … It was a fight for Maryland’s future.”
“Voters showed they were completely fed up with politics as usual,” he said. “Tonight, Marylanders held our leaders accountable for eight years of failed economic policies.”
Tomorrow, Hogan said, his team would “roll up their sleeves” and begin working to fix the “serious financial problems” that he said plagued the state.
Many attendees at Hogan’s Annapolis election night party said it was not an outcome they had expected.
Small-business owner Jamie Kirkwood, from Queen Anne’s County, said she thought Hogan won because he “stayed on message” and “played a positive message.”
She said she thought O’Malley had polarized the state, hurting Brown’s campaign.
Kirkwood was leaving “excited” for her two kids’ future.
Steve Culp, 45, from Annapolis, said it was a “complete surprise.”
He attributed the upset to widespread frustration across Maryland – among moderate Democrats as well as Republicans – with taxes that have grown in number and amount under O’Malley’s administration.
Ellicott City resident Jeannine Mianulli said she and her husband were considering retiring outside of the state because of high taxes.
Now, Hogan’s win means that she can stay, Mianulli said.
Fifty-one-year-old Hillsmere resident Barbara Allgaier said she knew “a lot of people” who wanted to move out of the state due to economic problems.
“We are so excited about Larry Hogan winning – at last, he got people to listen,” she said. “People want change in this town.”
Though Hogan’s campaign “didn’t have money, they had audacity,” Allgaier said, adding that she was leaving in a “very hopeful” mood for the state.
As supporters trickled out, singing and cheering, the loudspeakers broadcasted the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.”
“I got a feeling that tonight’s going to be a good night…” the music played. For Hogan, that rang true.
—Annika McGinnis with Dani Shae Thompson, 1:44 a.m.
Brown Can’t Shake Lieutenant Governor Curse
Anthony Brown could not shake the lieutenant governor’s curse as he conceded the Maryland gubernatorial race to his Republican opponent, Larry J. Hogan Jr.
Appearing on stage shortly after midnight, Brown thanked his supporters and congratulated Hogan on a hard fought campaign.
Brown conceded with 91.4 percent of the votes counted and Hogan holding a 6-point lead.
He spoke before a shrinking crowd as Democrats relived the election of 2003, when Republican Robert Ehrlich Jr. beat Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in deep blue Maryland.
“I’ll never forget the love, the support and encouragement from the people on this stage, all outstanding friends,” Brown said, flanked by his family, his running mate Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, and Maryland Democrats, including Rep. Steny Hoyer, Rep. Donna Edwards and Rep. Elijah Cummings.
— Lejla Sarcevic , 12:36 p.m.
Negative Election May Have Cost Democrats, Hoyer Says
The Brown camp felt much more subdued by 11:40 p.m. as the Republican candidate, Larry J. Hogan Jr. held a surprising lead with 81.9 percent of the vote counted.
Maryland Democratic leaders continued to deliver a confident message. U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said they were waiting for results from bigger counties such as Prince George’s and Montgomery.
“The polls also reflect that they don’t like any of us and they’re upset. My view is this is a message election,” said Hoyer at the election night party for the lieutenant governor in College Park.
Reflecting on the negativity of the campaigns, Hoyer added that voters are becoming increasingly disillusioned with their elected officials and the nation’s democratic process.
“We spend I think a billion dollars – and when I say ‘we’ I mean collectively Republicans, Democrats, independent expenditures – and we spend a lot of that money saying, the other guy is terrible, or the other gal is terrible. We shouldn’t be surprised that the citizens come to the conclusion that we’re all terrible,” Hoyer said.
— Lejla Sarcevic , 11:40 p.m.
Brian Frosh Answers Questions on Election Issues
Democratic candidate Brian Frosh, who is expected to win as Maryland attorney general, answered questions from Capital News Service at his election night headquarters in Rockville.
Why Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown is lagging significantly in the polls: (Asked at 10:45 p.m., when results had GOP candidate Larry J. Hogan Jr. ahead by about 9 percentage points.)
I don’t have any idea. I haven’t had a chance to look at returns. I don’t even know what the returns are in my race. It’s so variable. If Prince George’s County has already reported and Brown is down then he’s in trouble. If Prince George’s County isn’t in then he’s got an ace in the hole. Brown will win big in Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Baltimore City. Hogan will win big in Baltimore County in all likelihood and some of the rural jurisdictions. You just can’t tell, I can’t tell, by looking. You certainly can’t tell by saying, “Oh he’s got X-thousand votes and he’s got Y-thousand votes.” That tells you nothing unless you know where they’re from and what’s left to come in. There are folks around here who can say “uh-oh he needed to get more out of Somerset County than he did,” but I just can’t do that.
How the attorney general’s job could vary under a Democrat or Republican:
It’s hard to predict, but look, the AG is an umpire. One large portion of the job is being the umpire. You’re calling balls and strikes. This is legal, this is not legal, you can do it this way but not this way. In that sense it won’t vary at all. Either person will be asking for legal advice and we’ll be giving the right answers. In terms of my priorities and their priorities, mine are more closely aligned with Anthony Brown. I think that’ll be smoother and easier if there’s someone that I am more in synch with ideologically. But if Larry Hogan prevails we’ll work with him.
The biggest legal issues for the Maryland attorney general in the new year:
There are a series of issues that the AG faces just because the AG is the counsel to the governor, counsel to the General Assembly, counsel to all the state agencies.
So that means coming quickly up is the issues related to the contract on the rollout of the health care exchange. In general — and I can’t be specific because A) I’m not the AG yet and B) I don’t have the case files or the investigations — but I’m going to emphasize the same things that I emphasized in the General Assembly and the campaign: keeping people safe in the neighborhoods, that consumers and vulnerable adults are free from cheats and frauds and scams, that people all over the state have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. I’ll be the people’s lawyer.
— Max Bennett, 11:24 p.m.
Hogan Camp Remains Cautiously Optimistic with 61% of Vote Counted
The hors d’oeuvres were running dry, but spirits were high at Larry J. Hogan Jr.’s election night headquarters in Annapolis as report after report of vote tallies rolled in – all spelling optimism for the Republican in his gubernatorial campaign.
Hogan, an underdog in a state dominated by Democrats, was in a solid early lead with 61 percent of precincts reporting: 53.7 percent to Brown’s 44.6 percent.
As the band rose for its third set, another round of drinks were poured and supporters at the Hogan camp danced and drank with cautious optimism.
“We’re Republicans – all we can be is optimistic!” said Murphy Hartford of Anne Arundel County.
“I’m extremely excited – it’s a game-changer for Maryland for sure,” said 33-year-old Mike Deskin, managing partner at Columbia-based IT support provider Dresner Group, LLC.
To Deskin, the prospect of electing a Republican governor meant “happiness.”
But Deskin said Hogan’s initial lead didn’t mean much because it was still early.
As each vote tally announcement showed Hogan further in the lead, the diverse crowd cheered Hogan’s name and embraced enthusiastically.
“Republicans felt more energized this year. We were ready to get out and vote,” said Lee Gaines, a Baltimore County resident who voted early.
“We’re all here tonight because we think we can win,” Gaines said.
Other attendees included toddlers, such as 4-year-old Vanessa, held in the arms of 35-year-old Frederick resident Monique Canale.
Canale’s husband worked for Hogan’s Annapolis-based real estate business, The Hogan Companies, and the two men were childhood friends. They’d played in Little League together, Canale said.
Despite the prospect of a late night, Canale said she and her family were in for the long haul. She also has a 6-year-old son whose bedtime was extended for the special night.
“He’s playing video games on my phone right now,” Canale said.
— Annika McGinnis and Dani Shae Thompson
, 11 p.m.
Frosh Supporters Confident He Will Win
ROCKVILLE — With a focus on issues like gun control, consumer protection and the environment, Democrat Brian Frosh has Marylanders’ best interests in mind, said outgoing Attorney General Doug Gansler.
“Brian’s going to be great,” he said. “He’s got the necessary judgment, ethics and character for the position. He’ll be relentless and fair.”
Although the votes are still being tallied, Frosh’s supporters are confident that he will be Maryland’s next attorney general, said Marilyn Tippett, 74, of Germantown, who worked on Frosh’s campaign.
“I feel good about it, I’m not nervous,” she said, adding that Frosh is an honest and trustworthy person. “I just hope it goes well.”
Frosh is surely the best candidate for the job, said Montgomery County Council Member Roger Berliner.
“I can’t think of someone more suited and qualified than Frosh,” he said. “No one.”
The people’s lawyer is not just a slogan, it’s who attorney general candidate Brian Frosh is, said his wife, Marcy Frosh.
“A.G. doesn’t mean almost governor,” she said. “He really wants to be A.G. He just felt there’s potential to be really effective.”
Frosh is expected to win handily over GOP opponent Jeffrey Pritzker, a Baltimore native.
— Madeleine List , 9:53 p.m.
Early Voting Results Going Back and Forth
COLLEGE PARK – Brown supporters gathered at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center at the University of Maryland for his election night party where he hoped to celebrate becoming the first lieutenant governor to rise to the state’s top job.
At one point, early voting results showed him edging ahead of his Republican opponent, Larry J. Hogan Jr., with about 51 percent of the early vote result.
But just a little while later, Hogan had taken an equally slight lead. Only about one-fifth of precincts had reported.
Supporters began filing in to Brown’s election night party at about 8 p.m., and the crowd grew steadily over the next 90 minutes.
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., acknowledged the tight race saying that Marylanders are unhappy with where the state is and that it causes people to think about the election.
“I think being the party in power in Maryland, in any state today where people are unhappy, that that causes a concern. I think the division in Maryland is fully understandable,” Cardin said. “The key now is whoever governs, and I hope it’s Anthony Brown, brings us together.”
— Lejla Sarcevic, 9:50 p.m.
Teens Show Support for Frosh at Election Night Event in Rockville
ROCKVILLE – Brian Frosh’s bid for attorney general received support from many Marylanders — even teens.
Frosh was at a Hilton in Rockville celebrating his expected win with fellow Democrats.
Meagan James, 19, said she met Frosh at a gun control event in her hometown of Baltimore before Frosh announced his decision to run in August last year.
“Everything he had to say was motivating,” James said.
From there, James became involved photographing Frosh’s events, and said during her time with the campaign she felt like “everyone became a big family.”
James enlisted her friend and fellow college student Ian Furst to help with the campaign.
A Massachusetts native, Furst said Maryland politics can be more exciting.
“There are a lot more contested campaigns in Maryland than in Massachusetts,” said Furst, 19.
James and Furst are both political science majors at Goucher College and plan to pursue careers in politics. They said they saw this campaign and election season as a “jumping-off point.”
Sarah Schecker isn’t even old enough to vote, but supported Frosh in his campaign.
Schecker, 17, of Rockville, worked for the campaign of Cheryl Kagan, D-Rockville, who is running for state Senate.
“I think it’s important for young people to get involved early,” she said. “Ultimately, it will be us leading the world one day.”
— Max Bennett, 9:45 p.m.
Hogan Supporters Nervous, But Hopeful
ANNAPOLIS – Supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry J. Hogan Jr. trickling into the campaign’s election night party around 8 p.m. Tuesday were nervous but optimistic their candidate would win.
Caterers uncovered silver platters of charcuterie and fruit in the large, airy room at the Westin Annapolis hotel, which was filled with flower lilies and Maryland-colored balloons.
Jeff Dixon, a grocery clerk from Lusby, came in early with the press to take photos. He’s photographed political events ranging from President Barack Obama’s two inaugurations to Hillary Clinton’s campaign event for Democratic gubernatorial challenger Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Thursday in College Park.
But this was his first election night party, and as a Hogan supporter, he was both excited and nervous.
“I’m optimistic for a win, but I won’t be surprised if the results don’t (match up),” he said. “I’m scared. I’m really scared. It doesn’t seem like Hogan’s been getting out to the public as much as Brown has. And he probably doesn’t have the money like Brown does.
“Hopefully that won’t matter,” Dixon said.
After leading campaign events at the Greenbelt Metro Station, South County Senior Center and Chick and Ruth’s Delly in Annapolis Tuesday morning, the Republican candidate and Annapolis real estate company owner “took it easy” in the afternoon, said Hogan press spokeswoman Erin Montgomery.
But the Hogan campaign made calls to voters “all day, up until the last moment,” and regional campaign field offices were out encouraging voters at polls throughout the state, she said.
A Hogan campaign internal poll several days ago showed the candidate 5 points ahead, but Montgomery was uncertain about the night’s outcome. She said results would most likely come in after 11 p.m. Tuesday.
“It’s going to be close,” she said.
Kirstin Shea, 30, a registered nurse from Edgewater, said she voted “the very first day, the very first hour.”
Shea, Montgomery’s sister, said she thought Hogan would have a “landslide” victory because Marylanders were “fed up” with Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration.
She added that Hogan had also led a more positive and less attack-centered campaign than Brown.
Monday night at her nurse job, Shea was taking care of a patient who told her she’d moved to Delaware since her last visit because she couldn’t afford Maryland’s taxes, Shea said.
“Just hearing that made me feel so sad,” she said. “It was just a weird thing to hear the night before Election Day.”
At 8:11 p.m., a full brass band from Crownsville, Bobby and the Believers, cranked up the music. The room was filled with optimistic energy as Hogan supporters danced through the food line to “I Will Survive.”
“I really do think in my heart that it’s going to be a landslide,” Shea said.
–Annika McGinnis, 9:11 p.m.