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Feisty Maryland U.S. Senate race will climax May 14

David Trone, Angela Alsobrooks, Larry Hogan
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(Left to right) David Trone, Angela Alsobrooks, Larry Hogan

By Kendall Green, SGJC Morgan News Network

Three leading contenders – two Democrats and a Republican – emerged in the Maryland U.S. Senate campaign as it steams into Tuesday’s primary election, reflecting the state's shifting political climate and the varying objectives of its citizens.

Following the announcement of former Gov. Larry Hogan's candidacy for the Senate, along with Democratic rivals David Trone and Angela Alsobrooks, the stage was set for an exciting election.

Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., a native of Maryland, has a history of public service to offer the candidacy. Born into a family of former U.S. Rep. Lawrence J. Hogan Sr., the younger Hogan's political career was influenced by both his father's leadership and his own encounters with bipartisanship.

Recent legislative measures by Hogan, such as providing significant money for Maryland’s four historically Black schools – including Morgan State University – and launching programs to address imbalances in the community, demonstrate his dedication to his home state.

U.S. Rep. David Trone, D-Md., a seasoned legislator and businessman, and Angela Alsobrooks, the first female chief executive of Prince George's County, will battle to win the party’s senate seat, then test Hogan. Alsobrooks, has a track record of putting jobs, education, and healthcare access first. As a self-made entrepreneur turned politician, Trone offers unique perspectives on mental health and criminal justice reform. Trone is also well-known for his philanthropy.

Getting Maryland voters excited about the race becomes critical as the contenders prepare. Residents' awareness of the election is mixed with apathy, according to interviews. Micah Achampong, a Maryland native and rising senior architecture major, said he was not sure if he was registered to vote, yet his knowledge of Maryland's Democratic inclinations highlighted the political identity of the state. Still, Achampong's ignorance about the candidates was indicative of a larger pattern of young voters becoming disenchanted with politics.

Voter turnout is still difficult, though, as several locals interviewed said they are ignorant of the candidates running for the Senate. At least two older adults in Prince Georges’ County told a Morgan News Network reporter that they did not care about the senate race and was only focused on the presidential battle between incumbent Democrat Joe Biden and former Republican Donald Trump.

Unsaid was the high stakes in the 100-seat U.S. senate. One or two November senate wins could flip the Democrats’ razor thin advantage back to a Republican majority, or a few Democratic wins could fortify its slim advantage.

The campaign is a critical test for both parties because Maryland typically leans Democratic. Although Alsobrooks and Trone want to energize their respective bases, Hogan's widespread popularity and appeal to both parties may persuade moderate voters.

It is anticipated that concerns related to healthcare, education, and economic recovery will become more prominent as the campaign progresses. Voters in Maryland will evaluate candidates' programs and past performance while considering their outlook for the future of the state.

The developments surrounding the Maryland U.S. Senate election serve as a sobering reminder of how crucial voter participation is to determining the direction of our democracy. The task of voter mobilization, especially among younger people, is one that requires coordinated efforts from all stakeholders due to the significant stakes involved for both Maryland and the country.

Citizens cannot achieve the goal of having a government that really represents the people unless we actively participate in it and empower citizens. – Khamani Anderson contributed to this report.