The competitive primary elections for governor in Maryland, which pitted seasoned leaders against political outsiders promising to shake up the system, were being watched by voters in both parties late on Tuesday. Because of the state’s lengthy process of counting ballots, the results of these elections could not be known for several days.
Tom Perez, a former labour secretary and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Peter Franchot, a state comptroller who has been active in Maryland politics since 1987, and Wes Moore, a best-selling author and former nonprofit executive who ran as a political outsider, were among the top three candidates in the Democratic field of nine.
Republicans were forced to choose between a moderate supported by the establishment and a far-right candidate who has reinforced false claims about the 2020 election and is supported by former President Donald J. Trump, as they have in several other states this year.
Dan Cox, a first-time state delegate who had the support of Trump, was running against Kelly Schulz, a candidate chosen by Governor Larry Hogan, who was not eligible to run for re-election due to term limitations.
Several campaign officials cautioned that the results of the tightest contests would not be known for days because Maryland law forbids the sorting and counting of ballots submitted by mail and in drop boxes until Thursday.
While Republicans have held the office of governor since 2015, Mr. Hogan, Democrats are attempting to unseat him. Their primary election was characterised more by stylistic disagreements than ideological ones. Mr. Moore argued that the party required fresh blood while Mr. Perez and Mr. Franchot highlighted their extensive experience in politics.
At an early voting location in Silver Spring this week, Mr. Perez remarked, “You know what you’re going to get with Tom Perez. It’s not a display horse; it’s a worker. It’s a person with a track record of completing tasks.
In a Tuesday interview with AUN News, Mr. Moore rejected criticism that he had given false impressions about his background and achievements, arguing that the real danger lay in elevating a candidate from the establishment.
People don’t always seek out the same ideas from the same sources, he claimed.
The Democratic Governors Association spent more than $1.16 million on television advertising for Mr. Cox, whose campaign had generated little money. They did this in an effort to aid his primary campaign in the belief that he would be simpler to defeat in the general election. Similar tactics have been used by Democrats around the country to support far-right Republicans in G.O.P. primaries this year, despite the possibility that they could backfire.
If Ms. Schulz, who formerly worked for Mr. Hogan as a cabinet secretary, wins the primary, D.G.A. officials predicted they would likely need to spend more money on the general election. If Mr. Cox made it to the general election, Ms. Schulz predicted in an interview that he would lose by a 30-point margin.
According to the State Board of Elections, as of Monday, at least 169,000 Democratic absentee ballots and more than 38,000 Republican ballots had been returned. There are still 204,000 Democratic and 58,000 Republican absentee ballots that have not been returned. Votes sent by mail on Tuesday and received by July 29 will be counted.
During the eight days of early in-person voting in the state, which ended last Thursday, another 116,000 Democrats and 51,000 Republicans cast ballots.
The voter turnout was predicted to surpass that of Maryland’s previous competitive primaries. 552,000 individuals cast ballots in a similarly heated Democratic primary for governor four years prior. In this year’s governor race, Democratic campaign officials anticipated between 600,000 and 700,000 votes.
The image of Republican turnout was more cloudy. Since Mr. Hogan’s initial run in 2014, there has not been a significant statewide G.O.P. primary in a midterm year. 215,000 Republicans cast ballots in that year.
Republicans were choosing between Jim Shalleck, a prosecutor who previously presided over the Montgomery County Board of Elections, and Michael Anthony Peroutka in the state’s open race for attorney general. Peroutka has spoken on multiple occasions to the League of the South, a group that advocates for the states of the former Confederacy to secede once more from the United States.
In the Democratic primary, Representative Anthony Brown was running against Katie Curran O’Malley, a judge in Baltimore for 20 years. Mr. O’Malley’s wife served as lieutenant governor under Mr. Brown.
Since 1918, Republicans have not prevailed in an election for Maryland attorney general.
Former Maryland representative Donna Edwards was competing in various contests to retake the House seat she lost in Prince George’s County to run for the Senate in 2016. Her campaign is involved in a proxy conflict with Israel policy.
In order to support Glenn Ivey, a prosecutor who is Ms. Edwards’s Democratic opponent, the United Democracy Project, a political action committee linked to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, has spent $5.9 million. For her part, Ms. Edwards has the support of J Street, a liberal Jewish group.
Additionally, Mr. Trump and Mr. Hogan, who frequently criticise one another, have endorsed the same candidate in a House district that extends from the suburbs of Washington through Western Maryland to the West Virginia border.
This candidate, Representative David Trone, a rich Democrat, is being challenged by conservative journalist Matthew Foldi, 25, in a Republican primary. But first, Mr. Foldi would have to defeat Neil Parrott, a Republican state lawmaker who fell short against Mr. Trone in the general election of 2020.