It was a good night for Republicans on Tuesday.
Larry Hogan beat the odds by besting Democrat Anthony Brown by a vote of 54 percent to 44 percent to become the only the second Republican since Spiro Agnew to ascend to the governor’s chair in Maryland.
Hogan beat back Brown’s attempt to be the first Maryland Lt. Gov. to succeed to the office and the first African American to hold the office Maryland.
During the campaign the Republican had battered Brown over tax hikes and the flawed rollout of the state’s health exchange.
Last night he told his supporters, "I stand before you tonight, full of hope, hope for our state and hope for our future. Winning this race wasn't easy. But tomorrow the real hard work begins. Tomorrow the people of Maryland finally take Maryland back."
Hogan also derided the O’Malley administration promising to rollback as many of its tax hikes and taking aim at what he termed -- its failed policies.
He then struck a more conciliatory tone.
"I want Maryland's future to be brighter than its past or its present. During this campaign I met people from all walks of life -- from one end of the state to the other -- who feel exactly the same way. And in order to succeed we're going to need all of your help -- all of their help. It doesn't matter what party you are in. It doesn't matter whether you voted for us or not."
Brown conceded defeat earlier in the evening.
He said it had been a hard fought election battle and he wished Hogan well.
Then he told his supporters, "I also have a promise to all of you. That the things that we fought for on this campaign will not be ignored. We will continue to stand up and speak out for working families across this state as we strengthen the middle class and create more jobs and more opportunities for more Marylanders."
Why Brown Lost
So, why did Brown lose in such an overwhelming Democratic state?
Republican John Cannon, who won an at-large seat on the Wicomico County Council said, "I think that what you're seeing is a conservative surge. People just want to see less spending, less taxes. I think they're probably fed up with what's happening over the last few years on all levels."
On the Democratic side, longtime Delegate Norm Conway who was defeated in an upset by Delmar Mayor Carl Anderton, said Brown failed to reach out to voters across the state. "The Lieutenant Governor did not do the job he should have. He should have been all over this state. I know all you need is Prince Georges County, Baltimore County and Baltimore City to win the governorship. But I have always been the one (to say) you may not win them, but you want something close in all the rest, because that helps make that number stand up and be counted."
As for his own loss, Conway said, that he was disturbed by the last minute negative advertising by a Republican political action committee in the waning days of the campaign against him and fellow Democrat state Senator Jim Mathias.
Conway has been one of the keys to bringing state money to the Shore as chair of the Apprpriations Committee in the House of Delegates.
But, on his loss he was philosophical about his loss.
"I've had twenty-eight great years in the Maryland House. I've loved every minute of it. I am very proud of what we have been able to bring to the Shore. And, it will be awhile, if ever, that we have another chairman of the appropriations committee."
Culver Wins in Wicomico County
In Wicomico County two term County Executive Rick Pollitt lost his bid for a third term to Republican Bob Culver while the GOP won all of the contested seats on the County Council.
Culver said last night that he had a good relationship with the incoming governor.
John Cannon, who will sit again on the County Council, said he expected Culver to be deliberate.
"I think, Bobby is smart enough that he is not going to rock the boat. You have the same administration there. You have the same directors there. And, Bobby knows well enough to work with the people there and get the most out of them. And, that's going to be his goal. I don't see him trying to turn the world upside down."
Democrat Laura Mitchell lost her bid for an at-large seat on the Wicomico Council.