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Angela Alsobrooks wins Maryland Democratic Senate primary, CBS News projects, setting up fall race against Larry Hogan

Maryland primary election results: Alsobrooks to face Hogan for U.S. Senate seat, Baltimore Mayor Sc
Maryland primary election results: Alsobrooks to face Hogan for U.S. Senate seat, Baltimore Mayor Sc 06:57

Washington — Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks has won the Maryland Democratic Senate primary, CBS News projects. Alsobrooks will face former Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who was projected to win the GOP primary for the open seat in a race that could tip the balance of power in the Senate. 

Alsobrooks and Rep. David Trone faced off in a brutal and costly race for the Democratic nomination, which kicked off after Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin announced last year that he would retire. The contest teed up a competitive general election fight, where Alsobrooks will face off against the popular former governor as the party seeks to hold on to the seat in November.

Although Maryland is a deep blue state, Hogan's late entrance into the race in February cast an easy victory for Democrats into question, making a GOP flip of the seat possible as Democrats fight to hang on to their narrow majority in the chamber. 

The two leading Democrats had been engaged in a bruising primary contest that divided Democratic leaders in Congress. Trone and Alsobrooks traded attacks in recent weeks in the closely watched race, and heading into the primary, the two appeared neck and neck in the polls.

In a post to social media Tuesday night, Hogan congratulated Alsobrooks on her primary win and said he looks "forward to a real debate on what this campaign is about: who can actually help fix the mess in Washington."

Angela Alsobrooks

Angela Alsobrooks
Angela Alsobrooks, Democratic Senate candidate from Maryland, on May 14, 2024.  Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Alsobrooks, 53, currently serves as Prince George's County executive. The former prosecutor would be the first Black woman to represent Maryland in the Senate, and just the fourth Black woman to serve in the Senate in its history.

The favorite of Maryland's Democratic establishment coming into Tuesday, Alsobrooks had the backing of Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, Sen. Chris Van Hollen and Reps. Steny Hoyer and Jamie Raskin.

Following Alsobrooks' win Tuesday night, Moore said on social media she was "the best choice to beat Larry Hogan in November."

Earlier this month on "America Decides," Alsobrooks said of her numerous supporters, "This is a people-powered race, as it should be."

When it comes to taking on Hogan in November, Alsobrooks said that the former governor has a "record that he will have to defend," pointing to his record on abortion, among other things, which she's made a central tenet of her campaign.

"These are issues that are core to Marylanders," she said. "And they are issues that I think will mean in the fall that we will prevail in keeping the Democratic party in control in the Senate."

Alsobrooks defeated Trone, 68, who has served in the House since 2019. With deep pockets as the owner of alcohol retailer Total Wine & More, Trone dropped tens of millions into the race, smashing records for personal funding in a primary. 

Rep. David Trone
Rep. David Trone, D-Md., speaks during a U.S. Senate Democratic candidates forum. Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

He told CBS Baltimore that he was willing to fund his own campaign in order to keep his independence, "so I'm not owned by Exxon; I'm not owned by Pfizer." The third-term congressman also touted his ability to work across the aisle, with an emphasis on addressing issues like opioid addiction. He had the backing of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, along with fellow members of House Democratic leadership, Reps. Katherine Clark and Pete Aguilar. 

Moore on Tuesday night said he was glad Trone "raised his hand to serve, and for the continued work he provides Maryland."

"Dems across the state will be united to beat a Republican rubber stamp, the Old Governor, Larry Hogan," Moore added.

A key race in November

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan
FILE: Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan speaks during an interview on Dec. 19, 2022.  Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Hogan's surprise entrance into the race in February introduced a major challenge for Democrats looking to hold onto their one-seat majority in the Senate.

A Republican win in Maryland could doom Democrats' majority in the chamber. And even before Hogan's announcement, Democrats faced steep odds of holding the majority. Though Republicans are defending 10 safely red seats, three Democrats are up for reelection in states that Trump won in 2020. And in another five states considered swing states, Democrats' reelection isn't guaranteed. 

Hogan's bid now threatens what seemed to be a relatively safe Democratic Maryland Senate seat. The former governor, now 67, who served from 2015 to 2023, is still very popular in the state, having recently left office with approval ratings in the 70s, and he still enjoys widespread name recognition in the state. Should Hogan win in November, it would mark the first time a Republican has won a Maryland Senate seat in nearly four decades. 

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