Prolonged Vote Count in Md. 4 Ends With Victory for Wynn

Maryland Democratic Rep. Albert R. Wynn clinched victory in the Sept. 12 primary in the 4th District, following a final vote count and a concession by challenger Donna Edwards, who fell just short of toppling the seven-term incumbent.

A count of all votes showed that Wynn defeated Edwards, a lawyer and community activist, by 49.7 percent to 46.4 percent and by 2,725 votes out of more than 82,000 cast. George McDermott, a little-known candidate, took 3.9 percent.

“The final votes are counted and we’ve fallen short by just a few,” Edwards said in a statement Sunday.

The final tally of the primary was unclear for nearly two weeks because of widespread voting problems in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties — the two suburban Washington, D.C. jurisdictions that make up the 4th District.

In Montgomery, some voting precincts were not provided with the proper equipment to operate new electronic voting machines, and early morning voters were turned away. A court order on primary day allowed Montgomery precincts to stay open an hour later, but late voters had to fill out “provisional” ballots on paper that were not counted until last week.

In Prince George’s, some poll workers were unable to send the electronic results to election officials on time, and ballots from machines in several precincts were apparently left unsecured overnight. Edwards also threatened to file a lawsuit over the unsecured votes.

As officials finished counting provisional ballots, it became clear Edwards would be unable to close the approximate 3,000 vote margin that had separated her and Wynn on primary night. Wynn won 57 percent of the vote in Prince George’s County, which cast more than two-thirds of the primary vote. Wynn’s advantage there was sufficient to overcome Edwards’ lead in Montgomery, where she won 60 percent.

Even as she conceded the race, Edwards called for an investigation of what went wrong on primary day. “Whether these failures happened as a result of incompetence, inefficiency or some other more nefarious explanation, they are unacceptable,” Edwards said.

Edwards’ late-starting campaign seemed to catch Wynn by surprise and proved to be the toughest primary campaign the incumbent faced since winning the seat in 1992. Wynn had won at least 80 percent of the vote in each of his past six Democratic primary elections.

Edwards centered her campaign on Wynn’s 2002 vote to authorize military operations in Iraq — a vote Wynn has since said he regrets. Edwards also criticized Wynn for voting with Republicans and against most Democrats to overhaul energy laws and to repeal estate taxes.

Despite his near-loss, Wynn is expected to win easily this November against Republican nominee Michael Moshe Starkman, who is a prohibitive underdog in a strongly Democratic and black-majority district that gave Democratic Sen. John Kerry 78 percent of the vote in the 2004 election.


1. Congrats to Congressman Wynn on his victory over the far leftist.

2. It is interesting that Congressman Wynn comfortably won the black majority districts of his C.D. Where he ran into trouble was in the white leftist community of Tacoma Park, well described by David Brooks in his seminal work, "On Paradise Drive," particularly the wearing of sandals in the middle of the winter. this result shows the disconnect within the Democrat Party between the increasingly sensible black voters and the left wing extremists who only know how to hate. How nice to, once again, see them on the bottom end of a vote total. On Election Day it will happen again, particularly in Connecticut.

Regarding David Levine's comment referring to "...left wing extremists who only know how to hate":

Very funny, thank you for your good humor. I hope to read more serious posts from you in the future though!

mr. levine:

kindly explain, who are the "leftists"? are they effete academic types sporting pointy beards? are they dark-skinned firebrands spouting populist aphorisms? in short, are they just your own ideological boogey men?

in asking those questions, my purpose is to derive whether you actually know any "leftists" or it is just a generalized term borne out of prejudice or misconception -- which is commonly how it's used.

i'm neither a "leftist" nor a "liberal", but i find often when many people talk about "leftists" they either can't personally name one they know firsthand, or they themselves "only know how to hate" people who don't toe their own ideological line.

so, yes, basically...you're guilty of divisive partisan rhetoric and are seemingly prejudiced against persons you generalize as haters and extremists.

you think that's good for america?

Who are the left wing extremists who only know how to hate?

You hear them every day on television if you watch C-SPAN's Washington Journal and listen to the calls that come in on the Democrat Line. They spew forth anti-Semitism and America Hatred and yes, Bush Hatred. They are professors who applaud the use of airliners as terrorist tools and refer to their victims as "Little Eichmans." Some are light skinned (and lie about being dark skinned) and some really are dark skinned, e.g., Cynthia McKinney--defeated by the black voters of her district. Some are fabulously wealthy, e.g., Ned Lamont and some feign poverty, e.g., the late Stokley Carmichael. What they have in common is a hatred for this nation, its freedoms and institutions and a record of support for terrorist movements who wish to bring it down. Unfortunately they dominate Democrat primaries to the point that, even when their candidates are defeated the winners are intimidated into towing their leftist line.

Most of Mr. Levine's comments are unworthy of response, but I do want to address those that are relevant to this website. About Wynn Levine said "he ran into trouble was in the white leftist community of Tacoma (sic) Park"

Either Mr. Levine does not know what he is talking about or he is deliberately misinforming us. Takoma Park is a very small part of the Montgomery Co portion of the district and Donna Edwards won convincingly in almost every precinct. I worked at a precinct in Calverton that is right on the MC/PGC line which went 2 to 1 for Ms Edwards. The upper Mont Co precincts are nothing like Takoma Park, they are a bastion of middle class values.

A more accurate analysis of the results would mention that Wynn began the race with huge advantages. He is an incumbent who has served for 16, so he had vastly superior name recognition. He also had a huge financial advantage.

Edwards steadily made inroads among voters. I live in Prince Geoges County and almost every voter I spoke to who knew something about both canidates, prefered Ms Edwards. I believe that if the campaign had gone on for another couple of weeks Ms Edwards would have won.

We will never know if I am correct, but I will state that in the 2008 primary Donna Edwards should be the clear favorite to win, despite the rants of Mr. Levine.

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