Maryland Special Election for U.S. House Seat Tuesday

Voters in Maryland's 4th congressional district are heading to the polls today in a special election to choose their representative to the U.S. House. The seat is open because former Rep. Al Wynn resigned at the end of May following his loss in February's primary election. Maryland's governor, Martin O'Malley (D), has called a special election to fill the remainder of Wynn's term.

Don't feel too bad for Wynn. When he left Congress last month he took advantage of a loophole in congressional ethics laws that bar exiting representatives from becoming lobbyists for one year. Wynn, following the example of others before him, has taken a job merely "advising" clients at the huge federal lobbying firm he has gone to work for, but will not directly "lobby" the federal government. It's nice work if you can get it.

More information on the candidates running for Wynn's seat after the jump.

For this special election, there was no primary because the state legislature passed a specific bill allowing the parties to internally select their own nominees, who turned out to be the same as the parties' nominees for the November general election: Donna Edwards, who defeated Wynn in February, will represent the Democrats on the ballot in opposition to Republican Peter James.

The special election is significant in another way: House seniority. Should today's winner prevail in November as well, they would have a slight edge over any other freshman representatives in the 111th Congress, which comes in handy when committee seats (and congressional offices) are doled out.

You can find more information about this and every other 2008 congressional race at Congresspedia's Wiki the Vote project homepage.