House Dems Pick Up At Least 5 Seats

Courtney Watson won a House seat in Howard County.

Democrats made significant gains in the House of Delegates Tuesday night, bringing the number of seats they’ll hold in the next legislative term to at least 96.

But their candidates are ahead in two other districts, pending the count of absentee and provisional ballots. So they could wind up with 98 seats compared to 43 for the GOP — which would be a net gain of eight seats.

Democrats defeated five incumbents and picked up at least one open seat. Hanging in the balance is another Republican incumbent and another GOP-held open seat.

In Frederick County’s District 3B, Ken Kerr, an educator, ousted Del. William Folden (R).

In Baltimore County’s 8th District, former school administrator Harry Bhandari (D) and former Del. Joseph C. Boetler III (R) will join Del. Eric Bromwell (D) in the legislature. Del. Joe Cluster (R), who was seeking reelection, lost, and the district’s other delegate, Christian J. Miele (R), lost a race for state Senate.

In Howard County’s District 9B, former County Councilwoman Courtney Watson (D) defeated veteran Del. Robert L. Flanagan (R).

In District 29B in Southern Maryland, Democrat Brian Crosby defeated Del. Deb Rey (R).

And in District 30A in Anne Arundel County, education foundation official Alice Cain (D) won an open seat; she’ll join House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D) representing Annapolis and environs.

In Baltimore County’s District 42B, which sends two delegates to Annapolis, Michele Guyton (D) was in the second slot, about 300 votes ahead of physician Tim Robinson (R). Radio executive Nino Mangione (R) was in the lead.

And in Harford County’s District 34B, Del. Glen Glass (R) was 20 votes behind Democrat Steve Johnson. That district sends two delegates to Annapolis; Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D) finished first.

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Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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