With 294 out of 296 precincts reporting, and absentee and provisional ballots not yet counted, today’s results of yesterday’s Baltimore City primary elections are preliminary and based on what appears to have been a dismal turnout, on a par with 2010’s very low participation rate of about 22 percent. Despite the remaining votes still to be tallied, voters seem to have booted three incumbents: Baltimore City state’s attorney Gregg Bernstein, 40th District state Del. Shawn Tarrant, and associate judge of the Baltimore City Orphan’s Court Stephan Fogleman, who until his recent appointment to the bench had been long-time chair of the Baltimore City Liquor License Board. There a few other apparent surprises:
Gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur got nearly 29 percent of the city’s vote, putting her in second place behind victor Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown but way ahead of Attorney General Douglas Gansler. Thus, the city is one of five jurisdictions state-wide where the progressive candidate placed second—and, surprisingly, she came in first in Kent County on the Eastern Shore.
First-time political candidate Brooke Lierman, yielding results from phenomenal fundraising and keen political jockeying, got the most votes in the 46th District state delegates’ race—5,848—even more than veteran incumbent Peter Hammen, the scion of one of the waterfront district’s political families, who got 5,272 votes.
Clerk of the Baltimore City Circuit Court Frank Conaway Sr. got more votes than anyone whose name was on ballots all across the city: 39,672, in a three-way race. That’s more than gubernatorial winner Brown (34,416), city state’s-attorney race victor Marilyn Mosby (33,801), and state Sen. Brian Frosh (30,092), the top of the heap in the Maryland attorney general’s tally.
Veteran political consultant Julius Henson was pilloried by long-time incumbent 45th District state Sen. Nathaniel McFadden. Despite healthy fundraising that allowed him to carpet-bomb the district with his signs, the controversial Henson got only 19 percent of the vote to McFadden’s 81 percent. The 45th District’s two incumbent delegates won handily, joined by third-place victor Cory McCray with just shy 20 percent of the vote—but Harry Spikes, who was endorsed by the Baltimore Sun, got less than five percent, putting him in seventh place in an eight-way race.
Long-time Baltimore City Sheriff John Anderson made deft use of his electoral prowess to get nearly 57 percent of the vote, beating challengers Donoven Brooks, who got nearly 31 percent, and Richard Parker, whose significant fundraising yielded less than 13 percent of the votes. Anderson's performance improved over his 2010 victory, when 60 percent of primary voters backed five challengers.
Finally, in the new District 44A, where three incumbent delegates sparred for one remaining seat, Keith Haynes leads with nearly 44 percent of the vote. Long-time politician Keiffer Mitchell Jr., the latest in an enduring West Baltimore political dynasty, didn’t quite make 40 percent, while Melvin Stukes got just 17 percent. Also, even though incumbent state Sen. Verna Jones-Rodwell announced her retirement, her name was on the ballot—and so she got nearly a quarter of the votes, with the rest going to victor Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, a veteran state delegate from Baltimore County.