Representative Andy Harris, the Maryland Republican who’s made himself a well-referenced name in DC’s local politics thanks to his aggressive moves to water down the city’s marijuana reforms, cruised to an easy victory in Tuesday’s primary election, disappointing the DC statehood and cannabis activists who supported one of his opponents.
Harris’s win was a blowout—he finished with 79 percent of votes cast in Maryland’s First Congressional District, which encompasses the Eastern Shore and is the state’s only reliable GOP stronghold. Michael Smigiel, a former state lawmaker who the DC activists supported because of his libertarian stance on drug policy, limped into second place with 11 percent of the vote.
That Harris, who was first elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave, had an easy win is no shock. The First District is Maryland’s most reliable GOP stronghold and the part of the state where Donald Trump performed best in the presidential primary. (Trump did well across Maryland, but romped on the Eastern Shore with nearly 63 percent.) What’s leaving Smigiel’s now-former DC supporters bummed is the magnitude of his loss.