MARYLAND SENATE: The biggest battle in the race to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski was the Democratic primary. U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen won the nomination with 53 percent to 39 percent for U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards. Eight other candidates split the remaining 8 percent. Van Hollen’s margin of victory belies how bitter this race really became in the final weeks, though he probably won’t have too much trouble uniting the party. State Rep. Kathy Szeliga won the Republican nomination with 36 percent in a 14-way field. Szeliga, who owns a small business with her husband and was responsible for increasing the ranks of Republican members of the state House of Delegates in 2014, is a solid candidate. Her challenge is that she is running in a solidly blue state in a presidential year, which will make it difficult to build the same coalition that got Republican Larry Hogan elected Governor. Van Hollen starts the general election race with an enormous head start, but he won’t be able to completely ignore Szeliga. The race is in the Solid Democratic
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