By Zach Silberman
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney inched closer to the Republican nomination by easily winning the Maryland and Washington, D.C. primaries on Tuesday.
In Maryland, Romney took home 49 percent of the vote, while in D.C., he took 70 percent of the vote.
According to exit polls in Maryland, Romney fared well among wealthy and educated voters.
While it was expected that the moderate former governor would win in Maryland and D.C., many in the Jewish community were focused on the reconfigured 6th Congressional District.
All eyes were on the tight race for the Democratic nomination where business executive John Delaney overwhelmingly defeated State Senate Majority Leader Robert Garagiola and three other lesser-known candidates by taking home 54 percent of the vote and winning every county in the new 6th District.
"Credit Delaney for running an excellent campaign. He was a political novice and came out of nowhere to offer a real alternative and he should be congratulated in running a strong campaign," said Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington Executive Director Ronald Halber.
Garagiola, who was the favorite to win this race, only achieved 29 percent of the vote.
Both Garagiola and Delaney touted major endorsements in their quest for the nomination as Garagiola was endorsed by Gov. Martin O'Malley, while Delaney received the endorsement of former President Bill Clinton.
Maryland redistricting moved constituents of Gaithersburg, Germantown and parts of Potomac into the 6th District, which is represented by Republican Roscoe Bartlett.
Bartlett, a 20-year incumbent, faced stiff competition in the Republican primary, but emerged as the winner with 43 percent of the vote; however, a majority of the Republican primary voters voted for one of Bartlett's seven challengers.
"I think this is going to be a very contentious race in the fall and there's going to be a lot of national money poured into this between Delaney and Bartlett," Halber noted.
Additionally, incumbent Democratic Sen. Benjamin Cardin easily fended off eight lesser-known opponents to claim the Democratic nomination with 74 percent of the vote in his bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate.
"It shows that hard work is rewarded and people think very highly of Ben Cardin," Halber said.
Cardin will face Republican Daniel Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent, in the general election.