Maryland primary election guide 2018

WASHINGTON — Maryland voters heading to the polls face potential ballot overload, as they weigh in on the governor’s race, U.S. House and Senate seat contests and crowded local races in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

At the top of the ticket, several Democrats are aiming to challenge Gov. Larry Hogan, the popular Republican governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.

In addition, veteran Sen. Ben Cardin faces an upstart, and eight Democrats and four Republicans are vying for an open House seat in a western Maryland district that’s currently the subject of a contentious Supreme Court battle over gerrymandering.

Further down the ballot, voters are weighing in on House of Delegate and state Senate seats.

And at the local level, voters in Montgomery County will sift through nearly three dozen candidates for four at-large seats on the County Council in addition to a closely watched six-person contest for succeeding long-serving County Executive Ike Leggett. In Prince George’s County, voters will make their selections in the hard-fought race for county executive and County Council seats.

Here’s a recap of the races on the Maryland primary ballot, plus resources for voters.

WTOP will have live coverage of the results Tuesday night.


Polls: The polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Early voting: Early voting ended Thursday.

Registration: It’s too late to register to vote and take part in Tuesday’s general election. The last date to register or to change your party affiliation was June 5. Want to make sure you’re registered? You can check here.

Polling place: You can look up your polling place on the Maryland State Board of Elections website. Your polling place may have changed since the last time you voted.

Moved recently? If you moved more than three weeks ago, go to the polling place for your new address. At your new polling place, you will be asked to vote using a provisional ballot, but as long as you complete and sign the provisional ballot application, your vote will count, the Board of Elections said. If you moved less than three weeks ago, you can still vote at your old polling place or vote provisionally at your new polling place.

What’s on the ballot?

Find a sample ballot for your county and precinct here.

Not sure of your precinct? You can find it by using the Voter Lookup tool on the Maryland State Board of Elections website.

Absentee voting: Any Maryland voter can vote using an absentee ballot. However, the deadline to request an absentee ballot varies depending on whether you want to receive your ballot via the mail or online.

If you wanted to receive a ballot in the mail, the deadline was June 19. If you want to download a blank ballot online, the deadline is June 22. You also have two ways to return your completed ballot. If you mail your completed ballot back in, the envelope must be postmarked by June 26.

If you hand-deliver your ballot, you must turn it in to your local board of election by 8 p.m. on June 26. Look up your local board of election here.

Where to find results: WTOP will have live results as they come in Tuesday night. Tune in on air and online.

On the ballot

Democrats compete to take on Larry Hogan

In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2 to 1, voters will confront a crowded ballot of potential Democratic challengers to take on popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

Read more about the candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge Hogan in the fall: Crowded field of candidates seek Democratic nomination for governor

U.S. House and Senate races

Veteran Sen. Ben Cardin faces seven Democratic challengers, including Chelsea Manning. Eleven Republicans are running for their party’s nomination in the Senate contest.

In Maryland’s 6th District, which extends from the D.C. suburbs to the western border of the state with Pennsylvania, eight Democrats and four Republicans are vying for an open House seat. The district is the subject of a contentious legal battle over gerrymandering.

In the 1st District, half a dozen Democrats are vying to take on Maryland’s lone congressional Republican, Andy Harris, in the fall.

Read more about the competitive House and Senate races on the ballot here: 2018 Md. Primary Guide: US House, Senate races

House of Delegates and state Senate races

Things get even more crowded further down-ballot. There are races in all 47 state Senate and House of Delegates districts — although several incumbents are running unopposed.

Still, there’s a fair amount of turnover this year. More than two dozen Maryland delegates have announced they’re stepping down this year, leaving competition for open seats. That equates to about 20 percent turnover in Maryland’s lower house.

See the races in the WTOP area and what to watch for here: 2018 Md. Primary Guide: House of Delegates, state Senate races to watch

Montgomery County executive and council

Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett, who has been in office for 12 years, cannot run again because of term limits, and voters in the heavily Democratic county will weigh in Tuesday on his successor. There are six Democrats vying for the post.

In addition, voters will choose candidates for four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council — from an extremely crowded field of 38 candidates. Of those, 33 are Democrats; four are Republicans; and one is an independent. Voters receive ballots based on their party affiliation.

All five County Council seats based on district are also on the ballot. Incumbents are running in each of those districts except in the 1st District, along the county’s western edge, where current council member Roger Berliner is term-limited. (Berliner is running for county executive.)

Read more about the competitive races in Montgomery County: 2018 Md. Primary Guide: Cheat sheet to Montgomery Co. exec, county council races

Prince George’s County

Voters in Prince George’s County are also choosing a new chief executive for the county.

Current County Executive Rushern Baker, who’s making a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor, is not seeking re-election. A total of 10 candidates are jockeying for his seat.

Read more about the race for Prince George’s County executive here.

Also on the ballot are several candidates for two at-large county council seats. Read more here.

Other races

There are also primary races in other Maryland counties across the WTOP listening area.

Calvert County

In Calvert County, there are competitive races for Board of Commissioners seats.

Republican at-large Commissioner Tom Hejl is running for re-election, as is at-large Commissioner Steve Weems. They face challenges in the Republican primary from:

Voters will pick two candidates.

Commissioner Mike Hart, who represents District 1, faces a challenge from Emad Emile Dides in the Republican primary.

Four Republican candidates are running to represent District 2 on the Board of Commissioners:

Kelly D. McConkey, is running unopposed in the Republican primary to fill the seat held by Evan K. Salughenhoupt Jr., who’s stepping down after three terms.

On the Democratic side, four Democrats are vying for two at-large seats. They are:

In District 1, there are two Democratic candidates:

Voters will pick one candidate.

Candidates Susie Hance-Wells and Holly Heintz Budd are both running unopposed in the Democratic primary for county commissioner seats in Districts 2 and 3, respectively.

See sample ballots for Calvert County.

Frederick County

County Executive Jan Gardner is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. She’s running for a second term.

Three Republicans are vying to challenge her in the general election. They are:

See sample ballots for Frederick County.

Howard County

In Howard County, Executive Allan Kittleman is running unopposed in the Republican primary for a second term.

Two Democrats are running for their party’s nomination to challenge Kittleman in the fall. They are:

See sample ballots for Howard County.


Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined 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, part of Government Executive Media Group.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up