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Timmerman to challenge Van Hollen in 8th District; District 1 too close to call

Republican Ken Timmerman will challenge Democrat Chris Van Hollen to represent parts of Carroll County and the rest of the 8th Congressional District, while the race for a Democratic candidate to take on Andy Harris in the 1st Congressional District in November's general election was too close to call Tuesday night.

Democrats Wendy Rosen and John LaFerla were separated by 130 votes in the District 1 race, according to the Maryland Board of Elections' totals at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Timmerman received 10,687 votes to defeat challengers Dave Wallace, Shelly Skolnick and Gus Alzona. Wallace, who is from Carroll, came in second with 8,066 votes.

Wallace congratulated Timmerman Tuesday night, and advised him that his volunteers and team would be happy to lend Timmerman their support.

"We feel that he's going to be able to carry the ball for the Republican party and conservatives throughout the district," Wallace said.

Timmerman said he is grateful for the people who took the time and effort to vote for him Tuesday. With the voters' help in November, Timmerman said he can change the way things are handled in the 8th district.

"Chris Van Hollen is out of touch and out of step with the new 8th district, and with your help, we will defeat him in November and elect a congressman who will work for common-sense solutions and get government out of the way so businesses can kick-start the economy and create jobs," Timmerman said.

Van Hollen said he's also grateful for his supporters, and he hopes to meet many more before the general election. He turned back a challenge from fellow Democrat George English, who garnered just less than 10 percent of the vote.

"I had a contested primary, so I want to thank the voters for their support," Van Hollen said, who spent part of the day campaigning in Westminster.

Rosen was claiming victory in District 1, which represents the Eastern Shore counties as well as northern portions of Harford, Baltimore and Carroll counties. Rosen received 10,502 votes compared to John LaFerla's 10,372. Kim Letke received 3,362 votes.

"We look forward to the next seven months and we will be to getting to know Republicans and Democrats in the district," Rosen said when reached by phone Tuesday night. "I believe we have enough anti-Harris momentum that could even carry us through to the fall."

LaFerla said he wasn't throwing in the towel just yet.

"I think it's too close to call because the early voting went all to me, but Tuesday's voting went somewhat to her," LaFerla said. "I don't think this is going to be over for a week or so."

Regardless of his challenger, Harris, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, said he isn't too worried about the general election.

"We got more votes than all the Democrats combined so I think that's a good sign that this district wants to return a conservative to congress," he said.

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