2018 Md. Primary Guide: US House, Senate races

WASHINGTON — Alongside a closely watched race to determine Larry Hogan’s Democratic challenger, Maryland voters will also weigh in on some key U.S. House and Senate primary contests June 26.

Veteran Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin faces a slew of challengers in his bid for reelection.

His opponents in the primary run the gamut from whistleblower Chelsea Manning — the former U.S. Army private convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks — to perennial candidate Lih Young, who has been in every primary since 2012 but has yet to secure a nomination.

In Maryland’s 6th District, eight Democrats and four Republicans are vying to win their party’s nomination for an open House seat.

On the Eastern Shore, Maryland’s lone Republican congressman faces two challengers from his own party, while a slew of Democrats are vying for a spot in the general election.

Overall, there are competitive primaries in all but one of Maryland’s eight congressional districts.

Here’s what you need to know about the U.S. Senate and House primary races:

U.S. Senate


  • Ben Cardin, incumbent
    According to a February Goucher College poll, 61 percent of Democratic voters said they would vote for Cardin. Heavily favored, Cardin is a third-generation Marylander who has served in office for decades (he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1966).
  • Erik Jetmir
    Jetmir is a New York native and currently a Navy Chief Petty Officer in the Reserves.
  • Chelsea Manning
    According to the aforementioned Goucher College poll, 17 percent of Democratic voters said they would vote for Manning. Arguably the second best-known name on the ballot, she is a former U.S. Army private and was convicted of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.
  • Marcia H. Morgan
    Morgan’s website states: “Maryland needs a woman in the US Senate, and I’m THAT woman!”
  • Jerome Segal, political activist and philosopher
    Segal is running against Cardin on a foreign affairs platform. He contends that Cardin is “a vehicle” of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee.
  • Richard “Rikki” Vaughn
    Vaughn was born and raised in Baltimore City and County. He parlayed an early career at McDonald’s into a business venture and brand.
  • Debbie Wilson
    Wilson is a former public school teacher and college professor. One of her stated goals is education reform.
  • Lih Young


  • Tony Campbell, political science professor
    Campbell teaches politics at Towson University. He is also a former U.S. Army chaplain. His focus is on education reform, smaller government and national security.
  • Chris Chaffee
    Chaffee’s platform centers around Second Amendment rights, veterans rights, federal spending, small business, jobs and term limits. He also wants to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • Evan M. Cronhardt
    Cronhardt is focused on American health care, tax equality, immigration reform, jobs, care for older Americans and welfare reform.
  • Nnabu Eze, Green Party nominee for MD-03 in 2016
    Eze came to the United States from Nigeria at the age of 7. He is focused largely on term limits, veterans’ rights, immigration reform, taxes, social justice and health care.
  • John R. Graziani, candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2016 and candidate for MD-04 in 2014
  • Christina J. Grigorian, attorney
    Grigorian is a Maryland native and graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law. Her platform focuses on public safety, transportation and education.
  • Albert Binyahmin Howard
    Howard is a former U.S. Army Staff Sergeant.
  • Bill Krehnbrink
  • Gerald I. Smith Jr.
  • Blaine Taylor
  • Brian Charles Vaeth
    Vaeth is a former Baltimore City firefighter. His primary focus is on combating corruption. His platform also has an eye on gun rights, the budget, government reform, immigration reform, health care and public education.

U.S. House

1st District

In the 1st District, which encompasses Maryland’s Eastern Shore as well as parts of Baltimore and Harford Counties, Rep. Andy Harris, a former Maryland state senator elected to Congress in the 2010 Republican wave, is facing off against two challengers in the Republican primary.

On the Democratic side, six candidates are vying to take on Maryland’s sole Republican congressman in the general election.

Republican primary

  • Martin Elborn, a military veteran who founded the “Late Night Veterans Show”
  • Rep. Andy Harris, incumbent
  • Lamont Taylor, a former small business owner who ran a janitorial business and author of “A Raw Business Sense”

Democratic primary

  • Michael Brown
  • Jesse Colvin, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer and business consultant.
  • Allison Galbraith, a small-business owner
  • Erik Lane, former technology entrepreneur
  • Michael Pullen, served as the Talbot County Attorney for two decades, founded a grass roots activist organization.
  • Steve Worton, former Defense Department budget official

2nd District

In the 2nd District, which comprises parts of Howard, Harford, Baltimore, Anne Arundel and small parts of Baltimore City, incumbent Democratic Rep. Charles Albert “Dutch” Ruppersberger is running for reelection. He was first elected to the seat in 2002.

Ruppersberger, who was elected to the seat in 2002, faces a challenger in the Democratic primary. Four Republicans have lined up to challenge him.

Democratic primary

Republican primary

  • Liz Matory, a small-business owner and author of the book, “Born Again Republican.”
  • Hubert Owens Jr., an Army combat veteran with a degree in criminal justice and a master’s in theological studies from Liberty University
  • Mark Shell, who previously ran as a Libertarian for the seat in 2014 and as a Green Party candidate in 2012.
  • Mitchell Toland Jr., a Dundalk, Maryland, native with a degree in economics and business

3rd District

In the 3rd District, which is made up of parts of Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties, incumbent Democratic Rep. John Sarbanes faces three Democratic challengers in the primary. Two Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination.

Democratic primary

Republican primary

4th District

In the 4th District, which comprises parts of Prince’s George’s and Anne Arundel counties, there are no competitive primaries on either the Democratic or Republican sides.

Democratic incumbent Anthony Brown, Maryland’s former lieutenant governor, who was elected to the seat in 2016, will face off against Republican George McDermott in the November general election.

5th District

The district includes all of Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert counties and parts of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

The seat is currently held by House Minority Whip Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer. Hoyer, who has held the seat since 1981, is the most senior Democrat in the House of Representatives.

Democratic primary

Republican primary

6th District

The district, which is made up of all of Garrett, Allegany and Washington counties as well as parts of Montgomery and Frederick counties, features the most crowded congressional primary in the state.

The seat is currently held by John Delaney, who announced last summer that he would step down at the end of his term to run for president.

The district’s contested boundaries were the subject of a Supreme Court case over accusations of gerrymandering by Democrats. After the lines were redrawn, Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett lost his seat in 2014.

Democratic primary

  • Andrew Duck, U.S. Army veteran and director of operations for the small green energy company Avertica. Duck was the Democratic nominee for the 6th District in 2006 and 2010, before the district’s boundaries were redrawn.
  • George English, Army veteran and retired economist
  • Chris Graves, founder of a solar energy company
  • Nadia Hashimi, a pediatrician who worked in the Emergency Department of Children’s National Medical Center and best-selling novelist.
  • Christopher Hearsey, an aerospace executive;
  • Roger Manno, a former Maryland state delegate and current state senator, representing District 19.
  • Aruna Miller, an engineer and state delegate representing District 15
  • David Trone, multimillionaire co-owner of Total Wine and More

Republican primary

  • Kurt Elsasser, Marine Corps veteran, affiliated with the Maryland Tea Party
  • Amie Hoeber, a defense contractor, previously ran for the seat in 2016
  • Lisa Lloyd, a nurse practitioner in Montgomery County
  • Brad Rorhrs, who works in the real estate industry

7th District

In the 7th District, which includes most of Howard County and about half of Baltimore City, longtime seatholder Rep. Elijah Cummings is facing four challengers in his own party. Four Republicans are on the ballot in the GOP primary.

Democratic primary

Republican primary

8th District

In the 8th District, which stretches from the D.C. suburbs of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties nearly to the Pennsylvania border, first-term congressman Jamie Raskin is running for reelection. Raskin faces two other Democrats in the primary. There are three Republicans running in the GOP primary.

Democratic primary

Republican primary


Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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