With a vote-by-mail primary Tuesday — except for the 41,000 souls across the state who braved going to the polls — everyone assumed that results would be trickling in slowly, and that close races wouldn’t be called for a number of days.
But there’s slow and then there’s slow. And then there are early morning mysteries.
After posting preliminary results for Baltimore City elections late Tuesday night, based on ballots received early by mail, the State Board of Elections, as of 8 a.m. Wednesday, was posting zero results for city elections.
As of late Tuesday night, former mayor Sheila Dixon was ahead in the Democratic primary for mayor, with 22,922 votes, or 30.2%. City Council President Brandon M. Scott was next, with 18,517 votes or 24.4%, followed by former U.S. Treasury Department official Mary Miller, with 12,961 votes, or 17.1%.
Incumbent Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young was in fifth place, with 5,442 votes and 7.2%.
But now, according to the elections website, Dixon, Scott, Miller, Young and the two dozen other candidates on the Democratic ballot are tied — with zero votes.
The same is true of all the other city races.
As of late Tuesday night, in the Democratic primary for City Council president, Del. Nick J. Mosby appeared to have a strong lead, with 27,745 votes for 39.3%. He was followed by City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed, with 19,212 votes and 27.2%, and former Councilman Carl Stokes, with 17,470 votes and 24.7%.
And the Democratic race for city comptroller was, as of Tuesday night, predictably tight. City Councilman Bill Henry had tallied 36,151 votes in early ballots, for 51.8%, while 25-year incumbent Joan Pratt was at 33,654 votes, for 48.2%.
But again, these races, like all races in Baltimore City, are back at zero, according to the State Board of Elections.
Some races around the state do seem like they can be called, even if final results may not be ready for several days:
Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D), who was sworn in a month ago to replace the late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D), had a commanding lead in the 7th District Democratic primary for a full term. As of 8 a.m., he had 73.8% of the vote in the multi-candidate field — and those numbers included some mailed ballots and some in-person numbers.
In November, Mfume will face a rematch with conservative commentator Kimberly Klacik, whom he soundly defeated in a special election in late April. Klacik was showing 71.2% of the vote in the GOP primary as of Wednesday morning.
Danielle Hornberger, an aide to U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R-Md.), appears to have ousted Cecil County Executive Alan McCarthy in the Republican primary. As of Wednesday morning, she was 60.5% of the vote to McCarthy’s 24%.
And in another race that can undoubtedly be called now, U.S. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) easily turned away a challenge from Mckayla Wilkes, who was hoping to duplicate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ stunning victory in 2018 in New York. As of early Wednesday morning, Hoyer had 75.5% of the vote compared to Wilkes’ 15.8%. Some progressive groups had cast their lot with Wilkes, while others stuck with the 39-year incumbent.
Del. Neil C. Parrott (R-Washington) will undoubtedly be the Republican nominee for Congress in the 6th District, after taking 64.9% of the GOP primary vote so far. He’ll face freshman Rep. David J. Trone (D) in November.
In another congressional race involving members of the General Assembly, state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-Baltimore County) was leading Del. Richard K. Impallaria (R-Harford) in the 2nd District GOP primary, 20.1% to 16.8%. But four other candidates were also in double digits, and that race appears too close to call.
The winner will be the underdog in November against nine-term Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D).
Key judicial and Board of Education races around the state also appear too close to call as of Wednesday morning.
CHECK BACK WITH MARYLAND MATTERS LATER IN THE DAY, AS NUMBERS GET UPDATED