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O'Malley, Cardin Win Straw Poll

Governor

Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley emerged as the Democrat's favorite candidate for governor in the race's first straw poll, conducted Saturday at the Western Maryland Democratic Summit held at the Rocky Gap Lodge near Cumberland.

O'Malley received 108 votes at the event, followed by Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan with 51 votes. The poll, taken in a region hardly known as a Democratic stronghold, was not scientific. But the results were trumpeted by O'Malley's campaign in a new release that quoted the mayor saying his win showed "our campaign's positive vision for Maryland is resonating with voters throughout our state."

A week ago, O'Malley's campaign raised questions about whether Duncan was trying to buy votes at the event, citing an email that offered to pay the $40 admission cost and provide transportation for interested Democrats.

In other races, U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin of Baltimore prevailed as the favorite candidate for U.S. Senate, besting a well-organized campaign by Allan Lichtman, an American University history professor, and Kweisi Mfume, the former NAACP leader and congressman.

Del. Peter Franchot (Montgomery) was also a runaway winner in his primary challenge against Comptroller William Donald Schaefer. Franchot as trying to position himself as the true Democrat in the race against a long-serving politician who has sparked numerous controversies of late, most recently by ogling a young aide to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  April 9, 2006; 11:17 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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