Lenett concedes Senate primary to Manno in District 19
Governor also calls to congratulate Democratic winner; results not yet certified
Family, friends and campaign volunteers erupted in cheers when Sen. Mike Lenett called Del. Roger Manno at 10:30 p.m. to concede the District 19 Democratic primary for the Senate seat to his challenger.
Manno, who showed little emotion early in the evening when the first results reported him ahead in the two-way race, exploded in a smile and raised his arms in victory. He hugged his wife Marjorie .
Manno, who was elected to the House of Delegates in 2006 and gave up that seat to challenge Lenett for the Senate, took Lenett's call upstairs in his home, away from the crowds.
When he returned, he announce to those gathered at his Silver Spring home that Lenett conceded, but said little else.
"It's about a team in Annapolis that works together in spite of differences," Manno said of what appeared to be a victory. "We have one goal to help solve problems."
With 33 precincts reporting closed to 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Manno had 56.32 percent of the votes and Lenett had 43.68 percent.
As of 11:30 p.m., not all votes had been tallied and the Montgomery County Board of Elections had not certified the results.
Manno will face Republican Don Irvine in the general election on Nov. 2. Irvine did not have a primary challenger.
Several attempts to reach Lenett after his call to Manno were unsuccessful.
Fifteen minutes after Lenett's call to Manno, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) called Manno to congratulate him on the primary win.
"Honey, it's the governor," Manno's wife said to her husband as she handed him the phone.
The District 19 Senate race was considered among the most contentious in the county, where two other incumbent delegates and one former delegate challenged incumbent senators in Democratic primaries.
"When it's gotten tough, I've tried to focus on the people trying to serve and help," he said.
In the weeks leading up to today's primary election, the race between Lenett and Manno both of Silver Spring became heated as Lenett's campaign launched a website targeting Manno's personal and professional career.
"I've never seen anything like this in Montgomery County politics," Manno said this afternoon at Leisure World. "But I'm looking forward to moving past the primary and working with Democrats to talk about solutions to real problems. That's what folks expect us to be doing."
Lenett did not apologize for his campaign.
"It's fair game and we've told the truth," he said, politicking only a few feet away from Manno. "Everything we've fought back with has been the truth."
Both candidates spent Tuesday at Leisure World in a last-minute effort to meet voters.
With four years in the Maryland House of Delegates under his belt, Manno said his priorities rest in health care reform, improving education and stimulating economic development and job growth.
Manno said he hopes to adapt health care reform made at the federal level to the state level.
District 19 includes all or parts of Aspen Hill, Layhill, Olney, Wheaton, Kemp Mill, Four Corners, Laytonsville and Gaithersburg.