Feb. 11, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Maryland - 3rd District

Incumbent -- John Sarbanes (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.


District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Like a Z-shaped lightning bolt, the 3rd District flashes through three of Maryland's large urban hubs -- Baltimore, Columbia and Annapolis.

Starting in traditionally Jewish suburbs northwest of Baltimore, the 3rd snakes east and south, grabbing northeastern suburbs and part of downtown by Fells Point and the stadiums for baseball's Orioles and football's Ravens. Many ethnic areas of eastern Baltimore are included in the district. The 3rd then twists south and west through suburban Arbutus, Linthicum Heights and Elkridge on its way to the eastern part of Columbia. Finally, the district moves southeast through Odenton and Crofton to Annapolis.

State and local governments provide jobs in Annapolis, which is both the state capital and the Anne Arundel County seat. Technology, financial services and health care push the economy of the Columbia area. Two key employers located in the neighboring 2nd District -- Fort George G. Meade, near the 3rd's southwestern edge, and the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, in the Linthicum area -- lure defense-related firms to the region and employ many residents of the 3rd. Despite financial trouble for the Pimlico Race Course in northwestern Baltimore, its role as host of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, has been secured by state legislation and new ownership.

The district has some GOP-leaning areas in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties, but overall the 3rd supports Democrats for federal office. Barack Obama won 59 percent of the district's 2008 presidential vote.

Major Industry

Government, technology, defense


U.S. Naval Academy/Naval Station Annapolis, 592 military, 1,574 civilian (2011) (shared with the 1st)


Baltimore (pt.), 174,628; Glen Burnie (unincorporated) (pt.), 56,093; Columbia (unincorpoated) (pt.), 47,173; Annapolis, 38,394


The Annapolis Historic District takes more than 100 buildings from the 18th century -- including the campus of St. John's College, itself a National Historic Landmark -- and the City Dock.




Want Roll Call on your doorstep?