Parrott called Trone to concede on Friday afternoon, both campaigns confirmed, and Trone described the call as “very gracious.”
Trone’s victory allows Democrats to notch one more win in the still-closely fought battle for control of the U.S. House, which remains unresolved. Republican hopes of a big red wave collapsed spectacularly after Democrats defied expectations to hang onto seats in numerous tough districts while avoiding slews of upset-surprises in others, like Maryland’s 6th, where most political analysts considered Trone the favorite despite Parrott’s spirited challenge.
The rematch between Trone and Parrott was seen as Maryland’s most exciting congressional race, where Parrott hoped a strong grass roots game and broad dissatisfaction with the economy and President Biden could overpower Trone’s enormous personal wealth and incumbent advantage.
But, after Trone, the co-founder of Total Wine & More, invested more than $12 million of his money into his campaign, he largely dominated Parrott on the airwaves, painting him as “extreme” on abortion and other social issues while having large latitude to showcase his personal mission. Trone’s huge financial advantage largely deterred any major investment from national Republicans, leaving Parrott to try to pull off an upset with minimal resources. Parrott had raised roughly $800,000 this year.
Trone had routed Parrott, an engineer and longtime Maryland delegate, in 2020. But the race became more competitive this year after redistricting made the 6th District redder — largely thanks to Parrott’s own personal crusades against partisan gerrymandering in Annapolis. He and several other Republicans won a lawsuit that led to a new congressional map this year that gave Republicans a shot in the Western Maryland district.
But even though the district lost some bluer D.C. suburbs, it retained a significant portion of populous deep-blue Montgomery County, where Trone clobbered Parrott, who couldn’t make up the difference despite his apparent popularity in redder — but less populous — Western Maryland.
Trone took a narrow lead in the race late Thursday night, including in purple Frederick County, after more mail-in ballots were counted and reported. And while thousands are left to count — particularly in Montgomery — his lead is only expected to grow. Parrott acknowledged that is what led him to call Trone to congratulate him Friday.
Despite the loss, Parrott’s campaign found silver linings, believing the “extreme partisan gerrymander” of the previous congressional map has been corrected and Marylanders got to have a “real say” in who they elect for Congress this year.
“While this wasn’t the outcome we wanted, it isn’t a defeat and it isn’t…