Lollar wins So. Md. but is crushed in Prince George's results
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010
Republican Charles Lollar won the majority of Southern Maryland votes in Tuesday's midterm election, but a Democratic landslide in Prince George's County cost him the race against U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer on Tuesday night.
Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) won comfortable majorities in all three of the region's counties in recent elections, so Lollar's showing in St. Mary's and Calvert counties, where he won 57.7 and 53.9 percent of the vote, respectively, was a good sign for the challenger. He ran respectably in Charles, winning 43.1 percent.
But Lollar will need a considerably strong showing in Prince George's, where nearly half of the 5th Congressional District's registered voters live and which is more than 5-to-1 Democratic, according to Maryland State Board of Elections data. Hoyer was up by 82 percent to 17 percent for Lollar on Tuesday night with 101 of Prince George's 107 District 5 precincts reporting. The district also includes a small portion of Anne Arundel County that typically votes conservative but nonetheless has sided with Hoyer since 1998.
Libertarian Gavin Shickle finished a distant third, earning less than 2 percent in the region.
A virtual unknown outside of local conservative circles when his campaign began in July 2009, Lollar has evolved from a significant long shot into an underdog some national pundits said had a fighting chance against Hoyer. His conservative stances and prowess as a public speaker sparked enthusiasm in the state GOP.
Republicans were expected to make major gains this election, but unseating Hoyer would have been among the largest if not the party's very largest victory.
A 15-term incumbent, Hoyer has cruised to re-election in nearly all of his previous campaigns. He has survived an expected upheaval of the U.S. House of Representatives that could wrest the chamber from Democratic control and cost the congressman his post as its majority leader.
If Democrats lose the House, Hoyer could be well-positioned to become its minority leader if current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif., 8th) steps down from her leadership post in the party.