As anticipated, wealthy Total Wine & More founder and Democratic Rep. David Trone entered the open Maryland Senate contest on Thursday, opening up his western 6th Congressional District. The seat spans ethnic melting pot suburbs of outer Montgomery County, fast-growing exurban Frederick County and rural, conservative Western Maryland. Although Democrats retain an edge, the right kind of Republican could still force them to take it seriously in 2024.

Although Joe Biden carried the current 6th District 54%-44% in 2020, it's still the most competitive seat in the state. After a state judge threw out the Democratic legislature's map as a partisan gerrymander in 2022, GOP Gov. Larry Hogan cut a deal with Democrats to smooth the seat's boundaries and reduce Democrats' edge from Biden +23 to Biden +10. Last fall, Trone beat GOP state Del. Neil Parrott 55%-45%, matching Biden's margin.

But Democrats have been able to rely on Trone's gargantuan wealth to keep the 6th CD off their worry list. In 2022, Trone outspent Parrott $10.5 million to $1.1 million (including $9.9 million in self-funding), flooding the Washington airwaves

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