Politics

New Member: Democrat Jamie Raskin Elected in Maryland’s 8th District

State senator wins Van Hollen’s House seat

Maryland state Sen. Jamie Raskin succeeds Rep. Chris Van Hollen in the 8th District. (Courtesy Jamie Raskin Facebook page)

Democratic state Sen. Jamie Raskin will defeat Republican Dan Cox in Maryland’s 8th District, The Associated Press projects.

Raskin led Cox 67 percent to 28 percent with 57 percent of precincts reporting.

He succeeds Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who vacated his seat to run for the Senate, a race he won Tuesday night.

[Election Results 2016]

Maryland’s 8th District extends from Washington, D.C., to the Pennsylvania border. Much of the population lives in the affluent Montgomery County suburbs, outside the nation’s capital. The district is heavily Democratic. (Van Hollen won re-election by roughly 20 points in 2014.)

Coming into Election Day, the race was rated Safe Democrat by The Rothenberg & Gonzalez Political Report/Roll Call.

Raskin emerged from a crowded Democratic primary field that included Kathleen Matthews, a former local news anchor and the wife of MSNBC host Chris Matthews, and wine merchant David Trone, who spent more than $13 million of his own money in the race.

The current member-elect is also a constitutional law professor at American University and has served in the Maryland Senate since 2007. There, he was a leader in the efforts to recognize same-sex marriage, decriminalize marijuana and abolish the death penalty.

[Raskin Hopes Grass Roots Will Grow to Maryland House Win]

Raskin has said one of his priorities in Congress will be to pass gun control legislation such as an assault weapons ban. He will also focus on maintaining the Washington Metro system, which runs through part of the 8th District.

“I live three blocks away from the Metro and would hope to take the Metro to work whenever I can,” he said.

Contact Bowman at bridgetbowman@rollcall.com and follow her on Twitter @bridgetbhc.

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