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Van Hollen beats Szeliga

Rachel Baye

Despite the grim returns in national races, Maryland Democrats celebrated victories in House and Senate races.

Congressman Chris Van Hollen defeated Republican Kathy Szeliga for the open Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski. State Senator Jamie Raskin won his race to replace Van Hollen in congress and former Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown won his race for Congress.

At a party in Silver Spring a jubilant Van Hollen said he was "very happy to say that I will accept the results of this election in Maryland."

At the same time, the newly minted Senator described hard work in the days to come.

"We have a lot of work to do to make sure that every child in every neighborhood in this state gets an education that we would want for each of our children," he said. "We need to make sure we end the scandal of mass incarceration and the scourge of gun violence in America."

Meanwhile, defeated Republicans celebrated what they saw as strong showings in those races.

Szeliga thanked supporters for "standing beside me" she told supporters at the Republicans’ party at the BWI Marriott.

"Thank you for the honor and privilege of carrying our banner. Thanks for believing in me."

Mark Plaster, who lost his race for the Third Congressional District seat to incumbent Democrat John Sarbanes, was talking about another race even before yesterday’s returns were counted. And he said he is committed to as many as it takes.

"There are things you learn the first time out," he said. "Maybe campaign mistakes you won’t make the next time, and you also build a certain amount of name recognition that you don’t have starting from scratch."

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