July 26, 2022
Winners: Republican women
The conventional wisdom is that it was a tough primary for the GOP overall, likely putting the gubernatorial race and the race for attorney general out of reach for Republicans with their far-right nominees. But there were some bright spots for the GOP — particularly the success of women in key primary races. Jaymi Sterling, Hogan’s daughter, trounced veteran incumbent Rick Fritz in the Republican primary for St. Mary’s County state’s attorney. Anne Arundel Councilmember Jessica Haire appears to have prevailed in the GOP primary for county executive; she’ll be in a tossup race in the general election with the Democratic incumbent, Steuart Pittman. Both Sterling and Haire are rising stars in the party.
In legislative district 7A, Del. Kathy Szeliga (R) ran up the score in her four-way primary for two seats, and got her preferred candidate through as well, muscling aside veteran Del. Joe Boteler (R). In the adjacent District 7B, Del. Lauren Arikan (R) handily defeated veteran Del. Rick Impallaria (R). Both Szeliga and Arikan are effective messengers for GOP conservatives — and both could also wind up running for higher office down the line.
And two congressional challengers bear some watching. Nicolee Ambrose in the 2nd District and Yuripzy Morgan in the 3rd District are undeniable underdogs this fall, but if they keep the races against well-established Democratic incumbents close, they could each be viable for other political offices down the line. The future for the state GOP is (mostly) female.