Maryland Politics: House of Delegates loses few incumbents

While the primary dust-ups in the Senate continue to sort themselves out, let's take a look at the changes in the larger chamber.

It appears that incumbents will prevail in all but about a half-dozen of the 141 seats, at least until Nov. 2. More survived primaries this year than the incumbents of four years ago -- a feat that House Speaker Michael E. Busch called fairly remarkable, given the number of competitive Senate primary races.

Just two sitting Democrats lost last night, compared with eight in 2006. New names in the House include Keiffer Mitchell, Mary Washington and Luke Clippinger of Baltimore (the latter two are filling open seats).

Baltimore's Ruth Kirk fell to Mitchell, a popular former City Council member who ran for mayor. Busch said House leadership knew that one of the three incumbent Democrats in that district, 44, would have a "tough" time against Mitchell.

In another intra-party hit, B. Daniel Riley, who represents Cecil and Harford counties, was taken out by Marla Posey-Moss, a high school Spanish teacher. Democrats Posey-Moss and Mary Dulaney-James face two Republican challengers in the two-seat District 34A general election.

"We were surpised Dan Riley lost," Busch said. "We thought he'd have a tough general election. We weren't looking at the primary.

As for Republican incumbents in the House, three appeared to be in trouble, including two who had represented their districts for 15 years: Nancy Stocksdale of Carroll County and Paul Stull of Frederick County. Also appearing in the loss column is Del. Richard A. Sossi of the Upper Shore.

"Some of our defeats or potential defeats are surprising," said Del. Anthony J. O'Donnell, the House minority leader.

Minority whip, Del. Christopher B. Shank leaves the House to become senator for Washington County, having defeated incumbent Sen. Donald F. Munson. O'Donnell said the House is 'Losing one of its rising stars, but it's the Senate's gain.

O'Donnell predicted Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and Minority Leader Allan Kittleman would "enjoy Shank tremendously."