Del. Catherine E. Pugh held a commanding lead last night in the District 40 Democratic state Senate primary to replace retiring Sen. Ralph M. Hughes in an election that was likely to return only a few new faces to the city's General Assembly delegation.
Most of the city Democratic candidates will face only nominal competition from Republicans in November's general election. All city GOP Senate and delegate candidates ran unopposed yesterday. Each district is represented by three delegates and one senator.
Pugh was well ahead of Del. Salima S. Marriott, who was supported by Mayor Martin O'Malley. Others in the race included former city councilman and mayoral contender Lawrence A. Bell III and a raft of other Democrats - City Councilwoman Belinda Conaway, prisoners rights activist Tara Andrews and former City Council candidate Timothy Mercer. The winner will face Republican George Stephen.
The race for the district's three delegate seats was crowded with 10 Democrats. With Pugh and Marriott vying for the Senate seat, Del. Marshall T. Goodwin was left as the only incumbent.
Marriott had teamed up with delegate candidates Shawn Z. Tarrant, president of the Ashburton Area Association, and Antonio L. Hayes, chief of staff for City Council President Sheila Dixon, to create what they call TEAM 40.
Frank M. Conaway Jr. held an early lead, with Tarrant and Barbara Robinson close behind. Hayes and Goodwin trailed.
Other delegate hopefuls included Noland V. Rollins, Mark E. Hughes, Sarah Louis Matthews and Kinji Pierre Scott.
In the 41st, incumbent Democratic state Sen. Lisa A. Gladden was easily winning since her only competition, Leonard Kerpelman, mistakenly filed to run against her. The slate of three incumbent Democratic delegates - Jill P. Carter, Nathaniel T. Oaks and Samuel I. Rosenberg - held early leads over former Del. Wendell F. Phillips and Kevin Hargrave, a state corrections official.
In the District 43 Democratic primary in North Baltimore, state Sen. Joan Carter Conway was well ahead of her sole opponent, Dave Vane, 30, a part-time park ranger from Lauraville. The incumbent Democratic delegates - Curtis S. Anderson, Ann Marie Doory and Maggie L. McIntosh - were outpacing their competition. Their closest rival was Mary Washington, a 43-year-old management consultant. She was followed by former Del. Michael V. Dobson.
In the 44th District, with only a few precincts reporting, Democratic state Sen. Verna L. Jones appeared headed to her party's nomination despite the challenge of minister Kevin A. Brooks.
In the House Democratic race for the district's three delegate seats, voters appeared to be favoring challenger and former City Councilman Melvin L. Stukes over the three incumbents - Ruth M. Kirk, Jeffrey A. Paige and Keith E. Haynes - meaning at least one could be ousted.
The other challengers who were trailing were Arlene B. Fisher, Anthony McCarthy, Steven E. Gilliard, Jeremy E. Skinner, Wesley Wood, Richard M. Parker and Tavon Nathaniel Pope.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Nathaniel J. McFadden was set to win re-election in District 45, with only nominal competition from Greg Truitt.
For the delegate race, longtime incumbent Dels. Hattie N. Harrison and Talmadge Branch faced several newcomers. Their incumbent colleague Clarence Davis retired, guaranteeing at least one new delegate.
Harrison and Branch aligned with Cheryl D. Glenn, a former lobbyist and member of the city Democratic Central Committee. Glenn is also a member of the Eastside Democratic Organization that McFadden heads. That trio looked as if it was headed to victory last night, with Robert R. Stokes trailing.
Other competitors included Aaron Keith Wilkes, Kevin A. Slayton and Kevin W. Parson.
In the 46th District, the incumbent Democratic slate of Sen. George W. Della Jr. and Dels. Peter A. Hammen, Carolyn J. Krysiak and Brian K. McHale appeared to easily win their party's nod.