ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is congratulating Maryland Republicans after election victories in a heavily Democratic state.

Priebus spoke Saturday at the state party’s convention in Ellicott City.

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A sense of pleasant surprise pervaded the convention, after Republicans won the governorship and gained seats in both the House and Senate in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1.

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U.S. Rep. Andy Harris told the audience he can’t say how many members of Congress have walked up to him in the past month to express their surprise.

Republicans gained seven seats in the House, increasing their numbers from 43 to 50. While Democrats still control the Legislature in Maryland, Republicans will hold more seats in the House than ever. Republicans also gained two seats in the state Senate.

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