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With half of precincts counted, Hogan leads governor race

Larry Hogan, Republican gubernatorial candidate, and his wife Yumi greet supporters after voting at the South River Senior Center.
Larry Hogan, Republican gubernatorial candidate, and his wife Yumi greet supporters after voting at the South River Senior Center. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun)

Republican Larry Hogan has overtaken Democrat Anthony G. Brown in the race for governor as early returns continue to pour in throughout the state.

With a little more than half of the precincts counted at 10:45 p.m., Hogan led Brown 54 to 44 percent in early returns.

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Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn had 1.46 percent of the vote.

There are still many ballots left to count as returns slowly trickle in from the rest of the state.

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Recent polls and political analysts have described the governor's race as closer than expected in Maryland. Both Brown and Hogan expressed confidence Tuesday they would win.

"We knew it was a close election from the get-go," U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said from Brown's headquarters in College Park.

At Hogan headquarters in Annapolis, supporters posted a map of Maryland, overwhelmingly colored in red for the rural and Eastern Shore jurisdictions Hogan carried in early returns.

"It's not a realignment. It's not turning a blue state red. It's people who are tired of the last eight years," Hogan spokesman Adam Dubitsky said.

Brown led in the Washington-Baltimore region in early voting returns.

A win by either candidate would offer a historic distinction. Brown would be Maryland's first African-American governor. Hogan would be only the second Republican governor elected since the 1960s in deep blue Maryland.

At Brown's campaign headquarters in College Park, Riggs Alumni Auditorium was buzzing with about 50 Brown supporters standing in clutches, chatting and waiting for some results.

Hogan had a nine-piece, live band entertaining the crowd at his Annapolis headquarters.

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