Voters wait in line at the Bethesda Elementary School precinct last week Credit: Aaron Kraut

Raskin’s Downcounty Supporters Weren’t Swayed by Trone’s Advertising

Jamie Raskin’s success at inside-the-Beltway polling locations last week played a significant role in his Democratic primary victory for the District 8 House seat.

Precinct results released late last week by the Montgomery County Board of Elections show how voters in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Silver Spring and Takoma Park—places known as hotbeds of activist, left-leaning Democrats—carried Raskin to a more than six-point win over second-place finisher David Trone, despite the Potomac multimillionaire’s record spending on campaign advertising.

?Raskin won 24 of the 28 precincts in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area and a majority of the more than 70 precincts in a cluster spanning Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Kensington and Wheaton, some by at least 2-to-1 margins and some with margins approaching or exceeding 4 to 1.

At Somerset Elementary School, the home base of Raskin supporter and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Raskin won 490 votes to Trone’s 120. In Takoma Park, Raskin’s home, the District 20 state senator ran up margins of more than 500 votes over Trone at three polling places.

?Trone actually finished a distant third behind Raskin and Silver Spring resident Will Jawando in the Takoma Park Elementary School and Silver Spring Library precincts. Jawando finished a distant fourth in the race with just less than 5 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, Matthews—the Chevy Chase resident and former Marriott International executive who came in third—won four precincts in Bethesda and Chevy Chase, but in some cases by just a handful of votes over Raskin.

Trone’s showing tended to improve the farther outside the Capital Beltway a precinct was located, indicating that his prodigious TV commercials made more of an impact in those areas.

At a Laytonsville voting site, Trone defeated Raskin by a 3-to-1 margin. At the polls at John F. Kennedy High School on Randolph Road in the Glenmont area, Trone beat Matthews by 111 votes and Raskin by 138 votes. Thirteen of the 27 major precincts in the Rockville area went for Trone, 12 went for Raskin and two for Matthews. Matthews won two of three Leisure World precincts—the Silver Spring retirement community known for its wealth of voters—while Raskin won the other.

Trone won many precincts in the Carroll and Frederick counties section of the 8th district by a 5-to-1 margin, but it wasn’t enough to compete with Raskin’s advantages in the more populated areas of downcounty Montgomery.

Van Hollen’s Advantage in Montgomery County Was Obvious, But the Numbers Are Staggering

It was no surprise that huge support in his home base of Montgomery County helped Rep. Chris Van Hollen fend off Rep. Donna Edwards in a rough-and-tumble race for a shot to replace Barbara Mikulski in the U.S. Senate.

But the precinct numbers are still staggering. Edwards won only a handful of Montgomery County’s 254 primary day precincts and Van Hollen boasted advantages ranging from 4-to-1 to 11-to-1 in a wide swath of the county.

That 11-to-1 advantage came at the polls at River Falls Swim Club in Potomac, where Van Hollen won 500-44. He won Potomac’s 13 precincts by an almost 9-to-1 margin, and also outperformed Edwards in more diverse areas of the county.

In the more than 40 Gaithersburg and Germantown area precincts, Van Hollen won more than 10,500 votes. Edwards won just short of 3,900. Van Hollen’s large margins persisted throughout Bethesda-Chevy Chase precincts and in Silver Spring.

Edwards, who fell about 15 points shy of Van Hollen in the statewide race, appeared to win only one Montgomery County precinct by a solid margin—at Greencastle Elementary School on Robey Road in Silver Spring, where she beat Van Hollen 307-230.

Jeanette Dixon’s Surprise Win in the Board of Education Race Came Due to Broad, Countywide Support

There’s little doubt county government insiders expected incumbent at-large school board member Phil Kauffman and well-supported challenger Sebastian Johnson to move on to November’s general election as that nonpartisan primary’s top two vote-getters.

But it was a third candidate, former Paint Branch High School Principal Jeanette Dixon, who was the top vote-getter, blowing away those expectations with broad, countywide support for which there appears to be little immediate explanation.

Dixon won more than 31 percent of the vote in the five-person race, with Kauffman finishing with 28 percent and Johnson a distant third with 18 percent, despite a fundraising advantage and growing support from other county elected officials.

Dixon swore off endorsements from other county elected officials, declaring them “inappropriate.”

As expected, she performed well in precincts in the eastern section of the county and the Route 29 corridor, where Paint Branch is located and where she became a well-known community leader. But she also outperformed the rest of the field in Germantown, Clarksburg, Gaithersburg and in other outlying areas of Silver Spring.

She also held her own in Olney, where Kauffman is from and where he won the area’s 12 major precincts by a combined total of a little more than 200 votes.

Meanwhile, Johnson was done in by many fourth- and even fifth-place finishes in Olney, Gaithersburg and Germantown precincts. At Seneca Valley High School in Germantown, a precinct emblematic of Dixon’s success and Johnson’s struggles, Dixon won 246 votes and Kauffman won 129. Johnson finished fifth with just 80 votes.

Johnson performed better in Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Takoma Park, where he lives. He finished first with 549 votes at Takoma Park Middle School, with Dixon finishing second with 146 votes and Kauffman with just 68 votes. But it wasn’t nearly enough to get one of the top two spots.

Political insiders are left to ponder whether Dixon’s long career in public schools around the county—she taught in Silver Spring and was an assistant principal at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda before taking over Paint Branch—played a role in her broad support.

With reporting from Louis Peck