In what may have been one of the most significant primary races held on Tuesday, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks emerged as Maryland’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in this year’s election. Alsobrooks faces a challenging general election race to become potentially only the third Black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate in a year in which control of that chamber is up for grabs.

Winning the Maryland Democratic primary

Alsobrooks won Tuesday’s Democratic primary against third-term Rep. David Trone, a successful business owner who spent over $60 million in his primary campaign, the most any candidate has ever donated to their Senate race. Despite initially trailing in the race and having her opponent spend ten times as much money as her on political ads, Alsobrooks cruised to an easy victory. As she celebrated her victory Tuesday night, Alsobrooks told her supporters that “the fight ahead will not be easy.”

Overcoming big spending, ‘misogyny and racism’

Despite his spending barrage and endorsements, Trone had several missteps. Earlier this year, he apologized after using a racial slur during a congressional hearing, saying he did not know the meaning of the word. Trone’s campaign also used language about Alsobrooks, such as saying that she would need “training wheels” as a first-time senator, which some saw as condescending and offensive; a group of over 700 Black women in leadership wrote a letter characterizing the attacks against Alsobrooks as having “tones of misogyny and racism.”

Making history and helping the Democratic Party

Alsobrooks’ election to the U.S. Senate would be historic, making her the first Black senator from Maryland and only the third Black woman elected to the Senate. A win by Alsobrooks in November could also help her party maintain power in the Senate, where Democrats currently hold a narrow 51-49 majority and will have a tough time keeping control in November due to several tough races. To do so, she would have to beat the Republican candidate, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Although Maryland is a reliably Blue state, Hogan remains popular, meaning the race between the two candidates will likely be close.

After a record-breaking primary, money and attention will likely continue to pour into the Maryland Senate election, given the high stakes of the race. November will show whether Alsobrooks and Maryland’s voters make history in this election.