Democrat John P. Sarbanes - the son of retiring U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes - won the open 3rd Congressional District seat last night, apparently leaving Maryland's congressional delegation unchanged, with six Democrats and two Republicans.
Sarbanes, a Towson attorney and political novice, beat Republican John White, an Annapolis businessman, who was also making his first run for public office, according to preliminary results. Sarbanes also beat Charles Curtis McPeek, the Libertarian candidate.
Speaking to supporters at Camden Yards, where he was introduced by his father, Sarbanes declared that the wins for Democrats were a victory for working people.
"I think the vote tonight shows a readiness to try to reclaim the promise of America," Sarbanes, 44, said in a phone interview.
Last night's partial results appeared to give incumbents victories in the state's seven other congressional districts.
The 3rd District seat was left open when Democrat Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin stepped down to run for the Senate seat, setting off a frenzy to fill a rare opening in the state's congressional delegation.
Eight Democrats and eight Republicans vied for their parties' nominations for a district that includes parts of Baltimore City, as well as Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore counties.
The fiercely competitive primary races - especially on the Democratic side - gave way to a sleepy general election race.
White, 36, ran a largely self-financed campaign that revolved around the theme of "safety and security" and focused on ending illegal immigration.
But that wasn't enough to beat the Sarbanes campaign, which raised more than $1.3 million, and had the advantage of a well-known family.
Campaigns in the other congressional districts were largely low-key, under-the-radar affairs.
In the 2nd District, two-term Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger defeated Jimmy Mathis, a Republican and video production business owner, to represent parts of Baltimore, Harford and Anne Arundel counties, and the city.
Rep. Steny H. Hoyer - the No. 2 Democrat in the House - soared to victory in the 5th District, where he was opposed by Steve Warner, a Green Party candidate. The 5th District includes St. Mary's, Charles and Calvert counties, a sliver of Anne Arundel and a swath of Prince George's County.
In the 4th District, Democratic incumbent Albert R. Wynn won an eighth term to represent parts of Montgomery and Prince George's counties. He easily beat Michael Moshe Starkman after a narrow primary victory over Donna Edwards.
Eighth District Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat, won a third term, beating Jeff Stein, a Rockville attorney and Republican, and Gerard P. Giblin, a Green candidate. The district represents a large portion of Montgomery County and a sliver of Prince George's County.
The two Republicans also appeared to hold on to their two seats.
Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a seven-term incumbent, held off a tough challenge from Andrew Duck, an anti-war Democrat, and opposition from Robert Kozak, a Green, in the 6th District. The district stretches from Carroll County to Maryland's western border and includes parts of Harford, Montgomery and Baltimore counties.
And eight-term incumbent Wayne T. Gilchrest beat Jim Corwin, a Democrat and physician, to represent the 1st District, which includes the Eastern Shore, and chunks of Anne Arundel, Harford and Baltimore counties.
Five-term Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Democrat, ran unopposed in the 7th District.