Maryland Senate primary: Alsobrooks defeats Trone in race for Democratic nomination; Hogan wins GOP nod

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In a decisive win, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks defeated Rep. David Trone for the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s open Senate seat Tuesday, setting up what is expected to be a closely watched contest this November when she takes on former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

The Associated Press called the race for Alsobrooks shortly before 10 p.m. when she was leading the three-term congressman with more than 50% of the vote, and her lead continued climbing through the night.

Alsobrooks emerged victorious in the Democratic contest after trailing early in the campaign — and facing down an opponent who had piled millions of his own money into his campaign. Trone, the co-owner of Total Wine and More, spent north of $61 million on the race, the most expensive in the state’s history.

Alsobrooks, who’s in her second term as county executive of Maryland’s second largest county, will face Hogan in the general election — a race that has huge national implications as Democrats aim to keep control of the U.S. Senate.

Maryland Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks arrives to greet voters outside a voting location for the state primary election. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

Hogan cruised to victory in the GOP contest, with The Associated Press calling the race for the popular former two-term governor — over his six Republican competitors — less than an hour after polls closed at 8 p.m.

Hogan, one of the most vocal Republican critics of former President Donald Trump, is seen as a moderate member of the GOP and has said he is running for Senate to take on political gridlock in Washington.

He made it a point in his victory address to supporters Tuesday night to suggest that as a Republican senator he would not seek to curtail abortion rights.

Alsobrooks has made preserving abortion rights a key part of her campaign, and in her victory speech Tuesday blasted Hogan for his remarks earlier in the campaign in which he called abortion rights “an emotional issue” for women voters.

More Maryland Election News

Pledge of support after contentious Democratic contest

Rep. David Trone, third from left, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate, speaks to supporters, conceding the primary race to his opponent, Angela Alsobrooks, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Baltimore. Standing with Trone are his son Rob, left, wife, June, second from left, and daughter Michelle. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

In remarks to supporters in Baltimore Tuesday night, Trone said he had called Alsobrooks to concede and to offer her support.

“I need all of you to come together to support the Democratic Party so we can hold the Senate,” Trone said to the crowd, adding later, “Let’s get behind our nominee.”

Heading into the final days, political ads from both leading Democratic candidates saturated the TV and radio airwaves, and the tone had turned increasingly contentious.

Trone, in his third term representing Maryland’s 6th District, had pointed to his record of bipartisanship and his record of securing federal funding for Maryland in the House and his ability to win elections in purple territory.

For her part, Alsobrooks emphasized her experience as county executive, securing the FBI headquarters in Greenbelt, Maryland, and other economic development projects as evidence she could get big projects done.

“I know not only what to vote for, but I know how to implement,” Alsobrooks said in an interview with WTOP last week.

Alsobrooks, who would be the first Black woman elected to the Senate from Maryland — and only the third in the U.S. — if she wins in the fall, had been endorsed by some of the top Democratic officeholders in Maryland. That includes Gov. Wes Moore and Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who appeared at Alsobrooks’ jubilant victory rally Tuesday night.

The issue of endorsements in the campaign was one of the sharpest flash points in the race.

Trone, who had been endorsed by some local officeholders in Prince George’s County, such as State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy, came under criticism for suggesting in an interview with NBC Washington that only “low-level” officials in Alsobrooks’ home county were supporting her.

In her speech to supporters Tuesday, Alsobrooks pointed out her efforts to cut crime as Prince George’s County state’s attorney and her tenure as county executive that saw major investments in building new schools and a mental health center.

She said she is running for Senate to fight for senior citizens who can’t afford their medication, young families struggling economically and to preserve abortion rights.

Hogan vs. Alsobrooks

Election 2024 Maryland Senate
Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks to supporters during a primary night election party Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Annapolis, Md., after he won the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat opened by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin’s retirement. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)

Hogan, who served two terms as governor and left the governor’s mansion with sky-high popularity ratings, has promised to take on “dysfunction in Washington” and partisan gridlock, talking up his bipartisan bona fides on the campaign trail.

At his victory party at an Annapolis hotel, Hogan gave remarks under a sign reading, “Send a message to Washington.”

“I wasn’t looking for a new title,” Hogan said in his remarks. “I didn’t need a job. But I decided to take on this challenge, because I have never been more concerned about the direction of our nation.”

He cited his leadership as Maryland’s governor, cutting taxes and building a state surplus and said as a senator he would work on securing the border and fix the broken immigration system.

In his speech, Hogan anticipated attacks in the general election from Democrats in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1.

“Over the next few months, you are going to hear a whole lot more of this political BS, and Marylanders are going to be inundated with scare tactics and false attacks,” Hogan said. “Don’t let them get away with it.”

Notably, he leaned into the controversial issue of abortion, which has sparked debate among Republicans after the Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade.

“Let me once again, set the record straight tonight,” Hogan said Tuesday. “To the women of Maryland: You have my word that I will continue to protect your right to make your own reproductive health decisions.”

In her address before supporters in Greenbelt, Maryland, Alsobrooks lambasted Hogan’s record as governor, pointing to his 2022 veto of a bill to expand abortion access.

“Larry Hogan has said he’s a lifelong Republican, and if he’s elected, he will give Republicans the majority that they need to pass a national abortion ban,” Alsobrooks said.

Maryland hasn’t elected a Republican senator since 1980.

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli contributed to this report from Annapolis. John Domen contributed from Greenbelt and Dick Uliano contributed from Baltimore.

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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.

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