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United States House of Representatives elections in Maryland, 2008

The 2008 congressional elections in Maryland were held on November 4, 2008 to determine who would represent the state of Maryland in the United States House of Representatives, coinciding with the presidential election. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; those elected serve in the 111th Congress from January 3, 2009 until January 3, 2011.

Maryland has eight seats in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census. Its 2007–2008 congressional delegation consisted of six Democrats and two Republicans. It is now seven Democrats and one Republican. District 1 was the only seat which changed party (from Republican to Democratic), and was the only district CQ Politics had forecast to be at some risk for the incumbent party.


  • Overview 1
  • District 1 2
  • District 2 3
  • District 3 4
  • District 4 5
  • District 5 6
  • District 6 7
  • District 7 8
  • District 8 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


United States House of Representatives elections in Maryland, 2008[1]
Party Votes Percentage +/– Seats +/–
Democratic 1,677,490 67.15% +2.52% 7 +1
Republican 762,587 30.53% -1.62% 1 -1
Libertarian 47,708 1.91% +1.62% 0
Green 6,828 0.27% -2.25% 0
Others 3,339 0.13% -0.25% 0
Totals 2,497,952 100.00% - 8

District 1

The district encompasses the entire Eastern Shore of Maryland, as well as parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford Counties, and was represented by Republican Wayne Gilchrest since 1991.

Incumbent Wayne Gilchrest, a Republican, lost to state senator Andy Harris in the Republican primary, in which E. J. Pipkin also ran. Gilchrest was one of only two Republicans to vote for the bill to set a timetable on the Iraq War, which passed 218-212; he also voted on April 25, 2007 for another Democratic Iraq War bill, which passed 218-208. Harris was first elected to the Maryland Senate in 1998[2] and served as Minority Whip, 2003-2006. He has worked as an anesthesiologist, an associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine, and chief of obstetric anesthesiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Harris entered the February 12 primary with endorsements from the Club for Growth,[3] former Governor Bob Ehrlich,[4] seven of ten state senators who represent parts of the Congressional district, and House minority leader Anthony J. O'Donnell.[5] Despite Gilchrest's endorsement by the Baltimore Sun,[6] Harris defeated him by 10 points [7] in a relatively bitter race.[8]

Queen Anne's County State's Attorney Frank M. Kratovil, Jr., went into the February 12 primary as the Democratic frontrunner, with primary endorsement from the Baltimore Sun,[6] governor Martin O'Malley, and Maryland comptroller Peter Franchot. Kratovil became Assistant State's Attorney in 1997, State's Attorney in 2003, and president of Maryland State's Attorney's Association, 2005-2007. He defeated his closest opponent, Cambridge lawyer Christopher Robinson, by nine points in a primary that was considered much more civil than on the Republican side.[8]

While Harris had stated his belief that "the 1st Congressional District was drawn by Democrats to elect Republicans" and Gilchrest had carried the district for nine terms, Democratic leaders believed the district had "a moderate character" and was ready to support Kratovil competitively.[9] In addition to targeting by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee,[10] Gilchrest staffers held "Republicans for Kratovil" events.[11] Gilchrest hinted early on that he would endorse Kratovil, being quoted as saying, "Let's see, the Republican Party, or my eternal soul?" and "Party loyalty, or integrity?"[12] On April 17, 2008, an article in Politico announced that long-time Wayne Gilchrest campaign manager Lynn Caliguri, spouse of Gilchrest chief of staff Tony Caliguri, had joined the Kratovil campaign.[13] In early September 2008, Gilchrest broke from his party to officially endorse Kratovil.[14]

Maryland's 1st Congressional District: 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Frank Kratovil 177,065 49.12% +18.01
Republican Andy Harris (inc.) 174,213 48.33% -20.47
Libertarian Richard J. Davis 8,873 2.46% +2.46
No party Write-ins 329 0.09%
Totals 360,480 100.00%
Democratic gain from Republican

District 2

The district comprises parts of Harford, Baltimore, and Anne Arundel Counties, as well as small portions of the City of Baltimore, and has been represented by Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger since 2003. Prior to serving in Congress, Ruppersberger was Baltimore County Executive from 1994–2002. Ruppersberger serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Appropriations, and the Democratic Steering Committee.

The Republican candidate is Richard Matthews, a 28-year-old computer systems engineer from Orchard Beach, who is also the Ron Paul 2008 Presidential campaign.[15] Matthews is a moderate Republican with libertarian political views on civil liberties and economic freedom. He opposes the Iraq war, and generally supports freedom of choice in both personal and economic matters.

Maryland's 2nd Congressional District: 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Dutch Ruppersberger (inc.) 198,578 71.86% +2.65
Republican Richard Matthews 68,561 24.81% -5.87
Libertarian Lorenzo Gaztanaga 8,786 3.18% +3.18
No party Write-ins 408 0.15%
Totals 276,333 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing

District 3

The district comprises portions of Baltimore, Howard and Anne Arundel counties, as well as a significant part of the independent city of Baltimore, and has been represented by Democrat John Sarbanes since 2007. Sarbanes faced off against Republican candidate Thomas Harris; in this staunchly liberal district, Harris faced little chance against the popular Sarbanes.

Maryland's 3rd Congressional District: 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Sarbanes (inc.) 203,711 69.66% +5.63
Republican Thomas E. Harris 87,971 30.08% -3.68
No party Write-ins 766 0.26%
Totals 292,448 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing

District 4

The district comprises portions of Montgomery Counties, and has been represented by Democrat Al Wynn since 1993.

Coming off a close primary against progressive advocate Donna Edwards in 2006, Wynn faced a competitive primary against her again in 2008. While Wynn made an effort to appear more progressive, he remains one of the most conservative members of the Congressional Black Caucus. This time, Edwards defeated Wynn in the primary. Wynn then announced he would be leaving Congress before his term's expiration in January 2009, which triggered a special election.[16]

Maryland's 4th Congressional District: 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Donna Edwards 258,704 85.83% +5.16
Republican Peter James 38,739 12.85% -5.79
Libertarian Thibeaux Lincecum 3,384 1.12% +1.12
No party Write-ins 604 0.20%
Totals 301,431 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing

District 5

The district comprises all of Anne Arundel Counties. The seat has been represented by Democrat and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer since 1981. He was challenged by Collins Bailey, a businessman and fourth-term elected member of the Charles County Board of Education.

Maryland's 5th Congressional District: 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Steny Hoyer (inc.) 253,854 73.65% -9.03
Republican Collins Bailey 82,631 23.97% +23.97
Libertarian Darlene H. Nicolas 7,829 2.27% +2.27
No party Write-ins 377 0.11%
Totals 344,691 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing

District 6

The district comprises all of Garrett, Allegany, Washington, Frederick and Carroll Counties, as well as portions of Montgomery, Baltimore, and Harford Counties, and has been represented by Republican Roscoe Bartlett since 1993.

Bartlett's district is one of the more Republican seats in heavily Democratic Maryland, and includes several western cities such as Frederick and Hagerstown. Bartlett was 82 as of June 3, 2008. While he still managed to receive 58% of the vote in 2006 against little-known Democratic opponent Andrew J. Duck, a stockbroker and U.S. Army veteran, it was nine points lower than his 2004 showing. Although there were early rumors that Bartlett would retire rather than run again, he subsequently filed his candidacy for re-election. Duck, too, ran again in 2008. In a surprise, former Cumberland Mayor Frank K. Nethken announced that he would be a candidate for the GOP nomination even if Bartlett sought re-election.

While Andrew Duck ran for the Democratic nomination, he lost to Jennifer Dougherty, the former Mayor of Frederick. Roscoe Bartlett won the Republican nomination.

Maryland's 6th Congressional District: 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Roscoe Bartlett (inc.) 190,926 57.76% -1.21
Democratic Jennifer Dougherty 128,207 38.79% +0.36
Libertarian Gary W. Hoover, Sr. 11,060 3.35% +3.35
No party Write-ins 342 0.10%
Totals 330,535 100.00%
Republican hold Swing

District 7

The district encompasses parts of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Howard County, and has been represented by Democrat Elijah Cummings since 1996. Cummings did not face any opposition in the Democratic primary or general election in his last election, but faced Republican Michael Hargadon and Libertarian Ronald Owens-Bey, whom he easily defeated.

Maryland's 7th Congressional District: 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Elijah Cummings (inc.) 227,379 79.50% -18.56
Republican Michael T. Hargadon 53,147 18.58% +18.58
Libertarian Ronald M. Owens-Bey 5,214 1.82% +1.82
No party Write-ins 280 0.10%
Totals 286,020 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing

District 8

The district mostly consists of the larger part of Chris Van Hollen since 2003. Van Hollen has achieved national prominence as head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Maryland's 8th Congressional District: 2008
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Chris Van Hollen (inc.) 229,740 75.08% -1.44
Republican Steve Hudson 66,351 21.68% -0.22
Green Gordon Clark 6,828 2.23% +0.74
Libertarian Ian Thomas 2,562 0.84% +0.84
Write-in All write-ins 533 0.17%
Totals 306,014 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing


  1. ^
  2. ^ "1998 Gubernatorial General Election Results".  
  3. ^ "Club for Growth Endorses Andy Harris".  
  4. ^ "Ehrlich supports Harris for seat".  
  5. ^ CQ Staff (2007-10-02). "Eleven Republican Incumbents Have to Watch Their Backs in House Primaries". Retrieved 2007-10-19. 
  6. ^ a b "Sun endorsements: Experience counts".  
  7. ^ "Representative in Congress Results".  
  8. ^ a b Olson, Bradley (2008-02-02). "GOP brawling in the 1st: Democrats hope for Gilchrest loss".  
  9. ^ Brody, Alan (2008-02-22). "Dems ready to spend big on Kratovil: Van Hollen, Hoyer say District 1 seat is in play". Gaithersburg Gazette (Maryland Community Newspapers). Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  10. ^ "2008 Races Map: South Region".  
  11. ^ LoBianco, Tom (2008-03-14). "Gilchrest staffers support Democrat". Metro.  
  12. ^ Edge, Wally (2008-02-29). "'"Top Gilchrest staffer kicks-off 'Republicans for Kratovil. Politicker MD. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  13. ^ The Crypt's Blog -
  14. ^ Gilchrest crosses party lines, endorses Democrat Kratovil, even cutting an ad for him (
  15. ^ Bourg, Allison (2008-02-09). "Local challengers have difficult task".  
  16. ^ O’Malley To Push For One Special Election To Replace Wynn Michael Teitelbaum, CQ Politics, April 3, 2008

External links

  • Maryland State Board of Elections
  • U.S. Congress candidates for Maryland at Project Vote Smart
  • Maryland U.S. House Races from 2008 Race Tracker
  • Campaign contributions for Maryland congressional races from
Preceded by
2006 elections
United States House elections in Maryland
Succeeded by
2010 elections
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