Democrats Natalie Ziegler and Chao Wu have declared victory in the race for the District 9A seat in the Maryland General Assembly, according to a press release.
“I am very glad we won together by working together,” Wu said in a campaign press release. “I will bring forward positive changes, innovations, visions, and solutions to serve our district and Maryland with Team 9 together.”
“I’m so honored by the voters’ confidence in us, and so excited to get to work for our beautiful district,” Ziegler said in the same release.
As of Wednesday morning, unofficial election results had Ziegler leading with 26.67% percent of the vote, Wu following with 26.41% of the vote and Republican and incumbent Trent Kittleman very close behind with 26.27% of the vote – only 95 votes behind Wu. Republican Jianning Jenny Zeng has 20.57% of the vote.
The mail-in ballot canvass continues, and results have not been certified.
Redistricting this year shifted the voting population of District 9A. About 80% of the voting population of the district is in Howard County, but redistricting shifted the remaining 20% of the 9A population into northern Montgomery County around Clarksburg and Damascus, removing it from Carroll County. All four candidates are from Howard County.
Redistricting appears to have helped Democrats Wu and Ziegler, who led among Montgomery County voters while Republican Kittleman had a strong lead in Howard County.
Kittleman could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Montgomery County Board of Elections is still processing mail-in ballots. While officials initially hoped to have election results certified by Thanksgiving, the board will now certify results at its Nov. 30 meeting. The board has processed over 110,000 mail-in ballots through their canvass so far, board officials confirmed.
County Board of Elections Secretary David Naimon said the board is currently working on processing ballots from voters who may have submitted both a mail-in ballot and a provisional ballot, to ensure only one ballot is counted per voter. The canvass met Monday and Tuesday and will meet for a half–day Wednesday today before taking a break for Thanksgiving.
On Friday, Naimon and Board President Nahid Khozeimeh will meet to consider provisional ballots that staff recommends be rejected. The canvass is scheduled to meet again on Saturday.
This is a developing story.