Voters in D.C., Md. head to polls Tuesday

April 2, 2012

Voters in the District and Maryland head to the polls Tuesday to make their picks for the Republican presidential nominee and a host of other races ahead of November’s main event.

In Maryland, where the polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., nonpartisan observers consider former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to be the favorite in the state’s Republican presidential primary, ahead of Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania; former House speaker Newt Gingrich; and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.).

Romney is also heavily favored in the District, where Santorum did not seek to appear on the ballot. Polls there will also be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In Maryland’s congressional races, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) faces a challenge in the Democratic primary from state Sen. C. Anthony Muse (Prince George’s) and seven other Democrats, while former Secret Service agent Daniel Bongino and former Defense Department official Richard Douglas have been the most active of the 10 Republican Senate candidates. Cardin is favored to win Tuesday and again in November.

On the House front, the most closely watched contests in the state are for Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett’s (R) seat, which was redrawn to include western Montgomery County and is now considered up for grabs in the general election. Bartlett, who is running for an 11th term, faces seven Republican foes, including state Sen. David R. Brinkley (Frederick) and Del. Kathy Afzali (Frederick).

The race for the Democratic nomination in Bartlett’s 6th district has been especially heated, with state Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Garagiola (Montgomery) and financier John Delaney trading negative barbs and high-profile endorsements, including Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) for the former and former president Bill Clinton for the latter.

Maryland’s other seven incumbent House members are expected to win reelection with relative ease in November.

The main events in the District are several hotly contested Democratic primaries for D.C. Council seats.

In the only citywide council race, Vincent B. Orange (D) is looking to keep the at-large seat he won in a special election last year against former council member Sekou Biddle, activist and minister E. Gail Anderson Holness and former Prince George’s County council member Peter Shapiro. On the Republican side, Mary Brooks Beatty is running unopposed.

In Ward 7, Yvette M. Alexander is facing a tough Democratic race against candidates that include former teacher Tom Brown and attorney Kevin B. Chavous. Republican voters there will choose between activist Ron Moten and businessman Don Folden Sr.

In neighboring Ward 8, former mayor Marion Barry is looking to win a third consecutive term against four Democratic challengers, including activist Jacque Patterson and consultant Natalie Williams.

In Ward 4, Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) is expected to prevail over five less-well-funded challengers. Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) is running for a sixth full term without opposition. The city’s nonvoting congressional delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, is also unopposed in her Democratic run for an 11th term. She will likely face a Statehood Green candidate — Natale Lino Stracuzzi, who is running in that party’s primary unopposed — in November.

More information on polling places and elections can be found at the Maryland Board of Elections, (800) 222-8683 or elections.state.md.us, and at the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics, (202) 727-2525 or dcboee.us.

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