Delaney wins Dem nomination for new House seat

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Local,Maryland,Rachel Baye

Potomac financier John Delaney won by a wide margin in Tuesday's Democratic primary election for Maryland's newly redrawn 6th Congressional District, gathering about half the vote in a nominating contest that had five candidates.

In November, Delaney will oppose 10-term incumbent GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who beat out seven other Republicans to retain his seat.

Voter turnout was light across the state Tuesday, likely a result of a primary in which many incumbents were expected to retain their seats. The 6th District was the most hotly contested.

Garagiola was the handpicked choice of Democratic insiders in Annapolis to face Bartlett. But Delaney easily outpointed him on Tuesday.

The two fought over key endorsements -- former President Clinton and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot endorsed Delaney, while Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and major labor unions supported Garagiola.

Delaney also raised significantly more money than Garagiola in the weeks leading up to the primary. Between Jan. 1 and March 14, he received three times as much in contributions as Garagiola, and bolstered the cash he had to spend in a late advertising blitz by lending himself $1.25 million.

The Western Maryland district was redrawn -- adding parts of liberal Montgomery County and eliminating parts of conservative Baltimore and Harford counties -- during the once-a-decade redistricting process to help Democrats claim the seat Bartlett has held for 20 years.

The new borders attracted a slew of community leaders and state lawmakers eager for a chance at the seat.

But for many Maryland voters on both sides of the political fence, the redistricting process was a political game that left them feeling like their opinions will not represented be in Washington.

"I don't like it at all," said Kevin Maguire, a Gaithersburg resident who voted for Bartlett. "The Frederick area is too far away to cover this area as well. It's not local."

The process was more about politics than about what the voters want, said Kathy Burks, a Frederick resident who voted for state Del. Kathy Afzali, a Republican candidate. "You feel like, why bother [voting]?"

"You don't really have a say in it," said Ester Washington, who voted in the Democratic primary but declined to specify which candidate she supported. "You just hope that person will represent the district well, the things that I believe in. But I don't like it."

rbaye@washingtonexaminer.com

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Rachel Baye

Staff Writer - Education
The Washington Examiner