Democrat Alsobrooks wins Maryland US Senate primary, Jan 6 rioter loses in W. Virginia

By Makini Brice and Richard Cowan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Angela Alsobrooks won a U.S. Senate primary in Maryland on Tuesday, setting up a November matchup with popular former Governor Larry Hogan, while in West Virginia, House Republican Carol Miller fended off a challenger who joined the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

In another high-profile primary race, a former U.S. Capitol police officer who defended lawmakers that day, Harry Dunn, lost his Democratic primary for U.S. House in Maryland to state Senator Sarah Elfreth, Edison Research projected.

The party primaries across three states are part of a series of contests through September that will set the stage for the Nov. 5 elections when control of the U.S. Congress and White House are on the line.

Republicans will be defending a narrow House majority, currently 217-213 with five vacancies, while Democrats are expected to have an uphill battle trying to hold their 51-49 Senate majority as they defend incumbents in a half-dozen competitive states.

Edison Research projected that Alsobrooks edged out David Trone, a House lawmaker and wealthy alcohol retailer, by 54%-42% with 58% of the expected vote counted, to take on Hogan. Alsobrooks would become the state's first Black female U.S. senator if elected.

While Maryland has not elected a Republican senator since 1970, Hogan was popular as a governor and the polling suggests the general election could be competitive. A loss there would be devastating to Democrats' hopes of keeping Senate control.

West Virginia Republicans nominated Governor Jim Justice to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Joe Manchin, a seat Republicans are widely expected to pick up.

In West Virginia, Miller dispatched Derrick Evans, who served time in prison after pleading guilty to a role in the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the Capitol by Donald Trump supporters, by 62%-38% with 81% of the expected vote tallied, Edison Research projected.

Miller, who was among the 139 House Republicans who supported Trump's attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democratic President Joe Biden, represents a strongly Republican district in West Virginia and is expected to win reelection easily.


In Maryland, Elfreth was one of about two dozen Democrats running to succeed the retiring Representative John Sarbanes. She beat Dunn 36%-25% with 59% of the expected vote counted.

Elfreth, 35, was the youngest woman elected to the state Senate in Maryland's history when she won that seat in 2018.

In Nebraska, moderate Republican Representative Don Bacon held off challenger Dan Frei. Bacon is known for working in a bipartisan manner with Democrats, including on a vote to certify the results of the 2020 election.

With 54% of the expected vote tallied, Bacon led Frei 65%-34%.

Bacon's district is expected to be competitive in November.

His Democratic rival in the general election will be Tony Vargas, a former teacher, school board member and current state senator, who ran unopposed for that nomination. Bacon narrowly beat Vargas in the 2022 election.

(This story has been refiled to fix the spelling of 'Democrat,' in paragraph 7)

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Makini Brice; Editing by Scott Malone, Alistair Bell, Christian Schmollinger and Edwina Gibbs)