By CNS Staff
Capital News Service
Capital News Service reporters will be reporting live from election night parties as the votes are counted.
Hogan Supporters Surprised at Upset Victory over Brown
ANNAPOLIS — Republican gubernatorial candidate and business owner Larry Hogan Jr. trumped his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Tuesday night in a race that reflected a national and statewide disillusionment with Democratic leaders.
At the Westin hotel in downtown Annapolis, Hogan told a crowd of cheering supporters that “tonight, real change has come to Maryland.”
“We have sent a clear message to Annapolis,” he said. “This race was never a fight between Republicans and Democrats. … It was a fight for Maryland’s future.”
“Voters showed they were completely fed up with politics as usual,” he said. “Tonight, Marylanders held our leaders accountable for eight years of failed economic policies.”
Tomorrow, Hogan said, his team would “roll up their sleeves” and begin working to fix the “serious financial problems” that he said plagued the state.
Many attendees at Hogan’s Annapolis election night party said it was not an outcome they had expected.
Small-business owner Jamie Kirkwood, from Queen Anne’s County, said she thought Hogan won because he “stayed on message” and “played a positive message.”
She said she thought O’Malley had polarized the state, hurting Brown’s campaign.
Kirkwood was leaving “excited” for her two kids’ future.
Steve Culp, 45, from Annapolis, said it was a “complete surprise.”
He attributed the upset to widespread frustration across Maryland – among moderate Democrats as well as Republicans – with taxes that have grown in number and amount under O’Malley’s administration.
Ellicott City resident Jeannine Mianulli said she and her husband were considering retiring outside of the state because of high taxes.
Now, Hogan’s win means that she can stay, Mianulli said.
Fifty-one-year-old Hillsmere resident Barbara Allgaier said she knew “a lot of people” who wanted to move out of the state due to economic problems.
“We are so excited about Larry Hogan winning – at last, he got people to listen,” she said. “People want change in this town.”
Though Hogan’s campaign “didn’t have money, they had audacity,” Allgaier said, adding that she was leaving in a “very hopeful” mood for the state.
As supporters trickled out, singing and cheering, the loudspeakers broadcasted the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.”
“I got a feeling that tonight’s going to be a good night…” the music played. For Hogan, that rang true.
–Annika McGinnis with Dani Shae Thompson, 1:44 a.m.
Brown Can’t Shake Lieutenant Governor Curse
Anthony Brown could not shake the lieutenant governor’s curse as he conceded the Maryland gubernatorial race to his Republican opponent, Larry J. Hogan Jr.
Appearing on stage shortly after midnight, Brown thanked his supporters and congratulated Hogan on a hard fought campaign.
Brown conceded with 91.4 percent of the votes counted and Hogan holding a 6-point lead.
He spoke before a shrinking crowd as Democrats relived the election of 2003, when Republican Robert Ehrlich Jr. beat Democratic Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in deep blue Maryland.
“I’ll never forget the love, the support and encouragement from the people on this stage, all outstanding friends,” Brown said, flanked by his family, his running mate Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, and Maryland Democrats, including Rep. Steny Hoyer, Rep. Donna Edwards and Rep. Elijah Cummings.
– Lejla Sarcevic , 12:36 p.m.
Hogan Camp Remains Cautiously Optimistic with 61% of Vote Counted
The hors d’oeuvres were running dry, but spirits were high at Larry J. Hogan Jr.’s election night headquarters in Annapolis as report after report of vote tallies rolled in – all spelling optimism for the Republican in his gubernatorial campaign.
Hogan, an underdog in a state dominated by Democrats, was in a solid early lead with 61 percent of precincts reporting: 53.7 percent to Brown’s 44.6 percent.
As the band rose for its third set, another round of drinks were poured and supporters at the Hogan camp danced and drank with cautious optimism.
“We’re Republicans – all we can be is optimistic!” said Murphy Hartford of Anne Arundel County.
“I’m extremely excited – it’s a game-changer for Maryland for sure,” said 33-year-old Mike Deskin, managing partner at Columbia-based IT support provider Dresner Group, LLC.
To Deskin, the prospect of electing a Republican governor meant “happiness.”
But Deskin said Hogan’s initial lead didn’t mean much because it was still early.
As each vote tally announcement showed Hogan further in the lead, the diverse crowd cheered Hogan’s name and embraced enthusiastically.
“Republicans felt more energized this year. We were ready to get out and vote,” said Lee Gaines, a Baltimore County resident who voted early.
“We’re all here tonight because we think we can win,” Gaines said.
Other attendees included toddlers, such as 4-year-old Vanessa, held in the arms of 35-year-old Frederick resident Monique Canale.
Canale’s husband worked for Hogan’s Annapolis-based real estate business, The Hogan Companies, and the two men were childhood friends. They’d played in Little League together, Canale said.
Despite the prospect of a late night, Canale said she and her family were in for the long haul. She also has a 6-year-old son whose bedtime was extended for the special night.
“He’s playing video games on my phone right now,” Canale said.
– Annika McGinnis and Dani Shae Thompson
, 11 p.m.
Early Voting Results Going Back and Forth
COLLEGE PARK – Brown supporters gathered at the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center at the University of Maryland for his election night party where he hoped to celebrate becoming the first lieutenant governor to rise to the state’s top job.
At one point, early voting results showed him edging ahead of his Republican opponent, Larry J. Hogan Jr., with about 51 percent of the early vote result.
But just a little while later, Hogan had taken an equally slight lead. Only about one-fifth of precincts had reported.
Supporters began filing in to Brown’s election night party at about 8 p.m., and the crowd grew steadily over the next 90 minutes.
U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., acknowledged the tight race saying that Marylanders are unhappy with where the state is and that it causes people to think about the election.
“I think being the party in power in Maryland, in any state today where people are unhappy, that that causes a concern. I think the division in Maryland is fully understandable,” Cardin said. “The key now is whoever governs, and I hope it’s Anthony Brown, brings us together.”
– Lejla Sarcevic, 9:50 p.m.
Hogan Supporters Nervous, But Hopeful
ANNAPOLIS – Supporters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry J. Hogan Jr. trickling into the campaign’s election night party around 8 p.m. Tuesday were nervous but optimistic their candidate would win.
Caterers uncovered silver platters of charcuterie and fruit in the large, airy room at the Westin Annapolis hotel, which was filled with flower lilies and Maryland-colored balloons.
Jeff Dixon, a grocery clerk from Lusby, came in early with the press to take photos. He’s photographed political events ranging from President Barack Obama’s two inaugurations to Hillary Clinton’s campaign event for Democratic gubernatorial challenger Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Thursday in College Park.
But this was his first election night party, and as a Hogan supporter, he was both excited and nervous.
“I’m optimistic for a win, but I won’t be surprised if the results don’t (match up),” he said. “I’m scared. I’m really scared. It doesn’t seem like Hogan’s been getting out to the public as much as Brown has. And he probably doesn’t have the money like Brown does.
“Hopefully that won’t matter,” Dixon said.
After leading campaign events at the Greenbelt Metro Station, South County Senior Center and Chick and Ruth’s Delly in Annapolis Tuesday morning, the Republican candidate and Annapolis real estate company owner “took it easy” in the afternoon, said Hogan press spokeswoman Erin Montgomery.
But the Hogan campaign made calls to voters “all day, up until the last moment,” and regional campaign field offices were out encouraging voters at polls throughout the state, she said.
A Hogan campaign internal poll several days ago showed the candidate 5 points ahead, but Montgomery was uncertain about the night’s outcome. She said results would most likely come in after 11 p.m. Tuesday.
“It’s going to be close,” she said.
Kirstin Shea, 30, a registered nurse from Edgewater, said she voted “the very first day, the very first hour.”
Shea, Montgomery’s sister, said she thought Hogan would have a “landslide” victory because Marylanders were “fed up” with Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration.
She added that Hogan had also led a more positive and less attack-centered campaign than Brown.
Monday night at her nurse job, Shea was taking care of a patient who told her she’d moved to Delaware since her last visit because she couldn’t afford Maryland’s taxes, Shea said.
“Just hearing that made me feel so sad,” she said. “It was just a weird thing to hear the night before Election Day.”
At 8:11 p.m., a full brass band from Crownsville, Bobby and the Believers, cranked up the music. The room was filled with optimistic energy as Hogan supporters danced through the food line to “I Will Survive.”
“I really do think in my heart that it’s going to be a landslide,” Shea said.
–Annika McGinnis, 9:11 p.m.