Wynn, Gilchrest Lose Primaries in Maryland

Posted February 13, 2008 at 6:54am

The left flank of the Democratic Party and the right flank of the Republican Party each claimed a prominent Congressional victim in Maryland on Tuesday, as Reps. Albert Wynn (D) and Wayne Gilchrest (R) went down to defeat in their respective primaries. In the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Wynn was trounced by nonprofit executive Donna Edwards (D). With 76 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday morning, Edwards had 60 percent of the vote and Wynn had 35 percent. The Congressman, who was first elected in 1992, conceded defeat at midnight. Meanwhile, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, with 95 percent of precincts reporting this morning, state Sen. Andy Harris (R) had 44 percent of the primary vote to Gilchrest’s 32 percent. State Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R), who likely drew votes from each of the top two contenders, had 21 percent. Gilchrest’s defeat was largely engineered by the conservative Club for Growth, which endorsed Harris and poured considerable resources into the race in their efforts to deny Gilchrest a 10th term. Gilchrest joins the exodus of moderate House Republicans — some of whom are leaving willingly, others of whom are not. Similarly, Edwards’ victory over Wynn, who was seeking a ninth term, was helped considerably by endorsements from EMILY’s List and the Service Employees International Union, which argued that Wynn’s voting record was not sufficiently liberal. In the heavily Democratic 4th district, Edwards is now poised to become the first black female Member of Congress from Maryland after the November election. In the 1st district, Harris is heavily favored to replace Gilchrest, though some Democrats believe their nominee, Queen Anne County States Attorney Frank Kratovil, could pull an upset — a sentiment echoed by Pipkin, who warned throughout the campaign that Harris was too conservative to win a general election there. — Josh Kurtz