State Del. Democrat Clarence Lam handily defeated local businessman Republican Joe Hooe in the race for state senator representing the 12th district, according to unofficial State Board of Election results.
With all precincts reporting in District 12, Lam, earned 65.7% of the vote, with 30,697 total votes to Hooe’s 15,979, state the unofficial results.
“That’s a solid victory,” Lam said. “We’re really pleased to have the district behind us.”
Both men ran to replace State Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer, a Democrat who chaired the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee and who will retire at the end of this year. Kasemeyer chaired the committee since 2010. District 12 covers most of the southwestern portion of Baltimore County and stretches into Columbia in Howard County.
Lam performed better in Howard County than Baltimore County, beating Hooe by 67 votes in Baltimore County by over 14,000 votes in Howard County.
Hooe did not respond to a phone call seeking comment Tuesday night.
Lam is a physician who works in preventative medicine at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was elected to the House of Delegates in 2014 after serving on the Howard County Democratic Central Committee.
Lam said his first two priorities will be protecting healthcare in Maryland, including combating rising drug prices, and working to improve schools statewide. He said legislators will need to “roll up our sleeves” to respond to recommendations from the Kirwin Commission.
Meanwhile, Democrats retained control of the three District 12 House of Delegates seats. Incumbents Terri Hill, a physician, and Eric Ebersole, a retired school teacher, will be joined by newcomer Jessica Feldmark, who works as the Howard County Council administrator, according to unofficial results.
In total votes for both Howard and Baltimore counties, Ebersole earned 28,632 votes, Feldmark earned 27,616 votes and Hill earned 27,503 votes.
Melanie Harris, a Republican who ran for the District 12 House seat, was among the top vote-getters in Baltimore County. Ebersole received 8,989 and Harris earned 8,462, beating out Feldmark and Hill in Baltimore County.
But Feldmark and Hill got nearly 20,000 votes in Howard County, carrying them to victory in the district.
Ebersole said he was very pleased to be returning to Annapolis with Lam and Hill, and was excited to work with Feldmark.
“It means a lot, because we formed a friendship based on our shared value system,” Ebersole said. “Our aim is the same. We have the same Democratic values, which I think have to do with helping people and taking care of people.”