Two-term Harford County Del. Wayne Norman captured the Republican State Senate nomination Tuesday in legislative District 35 that straddles northern Harford County and western Cecil County.
In the three-way GOP primary race for two open delegate seats in the mostly Harford County portion of the district, Andrew Cassilly was ahead of Teresa Reilly who appeared to have enough of a lead over Jason Gallion to claim the second nomination, pending the counting of absentee and provisional ballots over the next two weeks.
Democrats filed only two candidates, Jeffrey Elliott and Daniel Lewis Lamey, so they did not have a primary contest.
Both seats in Subdistrict 35B, which also covers a small portion of Cecil County, are open because of Norman's decision to run for the Senate and the retirement of the other incumbent, two-term Del. Donna Stifler.
Cassilly, a first-time candidate who works for the Harford school system, was making a bid to join his two older brothers on the Harford County general election ballot. Joseph Cassilly, the eldest, is seeking re-election as Harford's state's attorney, while the middle brother Bob is the Republican nominee for the State Senate seat in District 35.
"This is a very close race, as expected, with three qualified Republican candidates," Andrew Cassilly said Wednesday.
With returns from Tuesday's primary and early votes in both counties, Cassilly was in first with 3,802 votes followed by Reilly with 3,713 votes and Gallion with 3,559.
"I'm ecstatic that I'm in and part of the two [nominees]," said Reilly, a longtime leader in the local GOP, and the wife of Circuit Court Clerk James Reilly.
Cassilly had some kind words for Gallion.
"I consider Jason a great friend and a very honorable man whose insights and opinions I have always valued," he said.
Norman, a lawyer from Bel Air, easily defeated Tom Wilson of Rising Sun for the GOP Senate nomination to replace Sen. Barry Glassman who is running for Harford County executive. Norman will face Democrat Bridget Kelly of Perryville, who did not have a primary opponent.
Norman had a 2-1 majority over Wilson, 6,274 votes to 3,107, according to primary results posted on the Maryland State Board of Elections website.
"Whatever I'm saying, it must be the right thing, because it seems to resonate with people," Norman said Wednesday.
Norman noted the role of state senator is "a bigger pulpit; you have a larger opportunity to help people."
"I'm going to do a great job for the people of Harford and Cecil County, and I really look forward to it," he said.
Norman also noted he and Wilson had "a clean race," and that they have "a pretty similar" conservative message.
House District 35A
Three Republican candidates, including Kevin Hornberger of North East, John Mackie Jr. of Elkton and Mary Podlesak of Elkton were vying for the Republican nomination in Subdistrict 35A, which covers most of western and northern Cecil County.
Unofficial returns from the Maryland State Board of Elections showed Hornberger with nearly a 300-vote lead over Mackie, with Podlesak trailing far behind the other two.
Hornberger polled 1,205 votes, compared to Mackie's 914 and Podlesak's 311 votes.
Hornberger will face Democratic Del. David Rudolph in November. Rudolph, who didn't have a primary opponent, is bidding for his fifth term in Annapolis.