Update, 12:43 a.m.: Montgomery County Democrats cheered the victories of Van Hollen and President Barack Obama at a watch party in Rockville Tuesday evening.
"My enthusiasm for Barack Obama and for Chris Van Hollen drew me out tonight," said Chevy Chase democrat Mary McMahon. "I'm absolutely ecstatic about our victories."
Van Hollen told Patch he was working to get to know his new constituents in the newly re-drawn District 8, meeting with business owners, farmers and students in Carroll and Frederick counties.
"I'm looking forward to representing all the people of District 8," Van Hollen said.
As election returns rolled in, Democrats clapped and hugged amidst chants of "four more years."
"You can see there's a lot of energy here," Van Hollen said. "There's a lot of people who have worked very hard and knocked on a lot of doors, and it all comes down to this."
A spokesman for Republican challenger Ken Timmerman didn't return a call for comment Tuesday night.
Update, 9:38 p.m: In an unofficial tally reported on the Maryland Board of Elections website, U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen has taken nearly 70 percent of votes calculated so far, including early voters and a portion of ballots cast Tuesday.
Shortly after 9:30 p.m., Van Hollen had 51,253 votes. Timmerman had 19,915 votes, more than 27 percent of votes tabulated so far.
Libertarian candidate Mark Grannis had 1,200 votes and Green Party candidate George Gluck had 937 votes, the Maryland Board of Elections reported.
Van Hollen declared victory in a statement shortly after 9 p.m.
“I want to thank the voters of Maryland's Eighth District for their support and I will do my best to vigorously fight for the priorities of our community and our country," the statement read. "As I visited polling places today in Frederick, Carroll, and Montgomery Counties, it was great to talk to voters and listen to their concerns. It is clear that there is far more that unites us as a community than divides us. There is much work to be done, and I look forward to working for all parts of the new district as we move America forward.”
Original Post: Republican challenger Ken Timmerman will take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Christopher Van Hollen (D) Tuesday for the Congressional seat in Maryland's heavily Democratic District 8.
Van Hollen, a longtime Kensington resident and ranking member on the House Budget Committee, touts health care, education, the environment and open government among his top issues.
Timmerman, a Republican, is also a longtime resident of Kensington. Timmerman writes about defense and intelligence issues, and has testified as an expert witness in terrorism trials in U.S. federal courts and before Congress. He was head of the Maryland Taxpayers Association.
Stick with Patch for details on the District 8 race as polling results are announced.