In a landslide victory, incumbent U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Dist. 4) of Fort Washington vows to create new jobs and defend entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare after beating two challengers in a U.S. congressional race many voters said was overshadowed by high stakes ballot questions that include gambling expansion and same-sex marriage.
Among Prince George’s County voters, Edwards won with 184,919 votes to Republican challenger Faith Loudon’s 10,795 and Libertarian Scott Soffen’s 2,364. Ballot results as of Wednesday morning show 98 percent of county precincts reporting since absentee and provisional ballots have not yet been tabulated.
“I am grateful that the residents of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties have trusted me to represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Edwards said in a Tuesday night statement. “Since 2008, I have fought every single day to improve the lives of my constituents and will continue that effort in the 113th Congress.”
Loudon and Soffen could not be reached for comment.
On Election Day, some voters said there were so many issues at stake in this election that they didn’t focus much on learning about the candidates in the congressional race.
Jan Endlich, 59, of Beltsville, said he didn’t know much about the congressional race but said Question 6, a referendum on whether to allow same-sex marriage in Maryland, was the driving force behind his voting.
“I think everybody should have the right to marry who they want,” Endlich said.
Maryland’s Fourth Congressional District has been redrawn based on the 2010 U.S. Census and contains Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties, but no longer includes Montgomery County.
Edwards, who has been in office since 2008, said job creation, transportation improvements and the expansion of research and development are some of the issues she plans to focus on in her next term.
“Through the re-election of [President Barack] Obama, we’re making sure we can continue to strengthen the middle class and grow jobs in the economy,” she said Tuesday.
She also said she plans to look comprehensively at a transportation plan throughout the district to “make certain we take care of infrastructure” to provide easier access to Fort Meade in Anne Arundel and Joint Base Andrews in Camp Springs.
Another priority for Edwards’ next term is to introduce a tax credit to promote expanding research and development.
“Inspiration and creativity is the way to grow the economy and grow jobs,” she said.
Around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Edwards visited the High Point High School polling location in Beltsville where she greeted voters.
“I’m for her. I believe she can really make a difference and will make a change for the better,” said Cornelia Osei, 30, of Beltsville.
A few voters at High Point said they weren’t familiar with the District 4 race and either didn’t vote for any candidate in that race or voted for Edwards after meeting her.
“I don’t know too much about it, but I met her out here and she handed me a paper and I voted for her,” said Jones Brantuo, 41, of Beltsville.
This story originally appeared in the Nov. 7 edition of the Prince George's Gazette.