Md. Challenger Edwards Wins Stunning Victory Over Long-Time Incumbent Wynn

Voters in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. cast their ballots in one of the most closely contested presidential races ever on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008.
By Rosalind S. Helderman and William Wan
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, February 13, 2008; 12:23 AM

U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D) conceded a short time ago after losing to Prince George's County lawyer Donna F. Edwards.

Wynn, who had served in the 4th District for eight terms, had been targeted by an aggressive advertisement campaign, funded in part with hundreds of thousands of dollars from national labor groups and liberal organizations. The effort apparently convinced voters that Wynn had fallen out of step with his overwhelmingly Democratic district during his 15 years in Congress.

"The deed is done," Wynn told reporters at a Lanham union hall where his supporters had gathered after the polls closed. "I think the only thing that remains is to support the winner."

Edwards, speaking to her supporters at Largo hotel, said: "Today the voters went to the polls looking for a change, and they went out there looking for new leadership. They found what they were looking for in this campaign."

With voting hours extended until 9:30 p.m. because of icy weather, election results were expected to arrive late in the closely contested race. After polls closed at 8 p.m., voters cast provisional paper ballots, which will not be counted until Tuesday.

At parties for each candidate last night, supporters could do little but anxiously wait for tallies to start trickling in. By 10:30 p.m., however, Edwards' supporters at a hotel in Largo were cheering the slowly arriving results, as she won precincts thought to be in Wynn's core of support.

"I'm feeling really optimistic about where we are right now," she told reporters. "I'm just really excited that the voters this evening really seem to be just speaking loudly and clearly, and we'll be excited at the end of the evening to find out exactly how loudly."

Wynn arrived at his party at a Lanham union hall at about 9:45 p.m. and briefly greeted supporters and reporters before heading behind closed doors.

"We'll be back once we have something, though I think it's going to be a little late," he said. "I'm feeling great. Now all I have to do is wait."

Elsewhere in Maryland, a challenger to nine-term U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R) claimed victory shortly after midnight.

State Sen. Andrew P. Harris (Baltimore County) had a narrow lead over Gilchrest.

Harris declared victory, said his campaign manager Chris Meekins.

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