- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
On key issues the majority of voters in St. Mary’s County were out of step with the majority of voters in the rest of Maryland and the United States.
Mitt Romney won 57 percent of the vote in St. Mary’s. In the state, President Obama won 61 percent of the vote on his way to a nationwide re-election victory.
In the U.S. Senate race, St. Mary’s picked Republican Daniel Bongino. Incumbent Ben Cardin (D) easily won a three-person statewide race with 55 percent of the vote.
In St. Mary’s, 57 percent of voters rejected same-sex marriage, but in a historic outcome, 52 percent of the state’s voters approved marriage equality. That made Maryland the first state in the union to approve same-sex marriage at the ballot box.
Voters here also rejected the Dream Act, which will allow some young, undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition to attend Maryland colleges. It won easily statewide with 58 percent of the vote.
But here’s what St. Mary’s voters had in common with the rest of the nation’s citizens. Farther down the ballot, past the president and the U.S. senator, voters elected to go with incumbents.
The bitter contest for circuit court judge in St. Mary’s was hard-fought from last winter all the way to Tuesday, but in the end voters elected to give the job to the man appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) nearly a year ago — David Densford. Joseph Stanalonis mounted a stiff challenge to a sitting judge, but when the smoke cleared on Tuesday night, Densford had nearly 52 percent of the vote.
All three St. Mary’s County Board of Education incumbents — Cathy Allen, Marilyn Crosby and Mary Washington — were easily re-elected. It was a strong vote of confidence in the direction of the public schools here.
And then there was Rep. Steny Hoyer (D), who cruised to an easy re-election victory with 69 percent of the vote in the 5th District. In St. Mary’s, Hoyer took 53 percent against Del. Anthony O’Donnell (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s). That was a sharp reversal of fortune for Hoyer in his home county; two years ago, against Charles Lollar, Hoyer was held to about 42 percent of the vote here.
And so, in St. Mary’s, in Congress and in the White House, for all the talk of anger and dissatisfaction with government, this election brings little change in the cast of characters.
This does not mean it was a vote for the status quo. What people want is for the government to get off the dime and start addressing problems that have been allowed to grow and fester because of gridlock in Washington.
Most urgent among these problems is sequestration — the “fiscal cliff’’ looming as tax cuts expire and deep across-the-board cuts in federal spending take effect in January unless Congress acts.
Sequestration is a real and serious threat to the economy of St. Mary’s, which is fueled by federal defense spending. Now that the election is over, Americans are depending on the same people who led us to the cliff to keep from pushing the country over the edge.
St. Mary’s voters agree with the rest of the nation on this. The election is over. It is time for those elected to get to work.