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March 4, 2009

Rematch: Harris versus Kratovil

In a fund-raising letter to supporters, Republican state Sen. Andy Harris says he has decided to run again for the 1st Congressional District seat he narrowly lost last year to Democrat Frank Kratovil.

“After talking with my wife, my family and my closes supporters, I’ve decided that I will in fact run for the U.S. Congress once more and am asking you for your help to make this campaign a success.”

The conservative-leaning 1st District was crafted to elect a Republican, and Kratovil knows he’ll be targeted. He’s already received attention and criticism for voting for the $787 billion federal stimulus bill in its final form (he had earlier voted against the House version).

Harris’s fund-raising letter included a Washington Times article that includes criticism of Kratovil’s vote. He said he hopes to raise $100,000 by the end of the month.


Posted by David Nitkin at 7:30 AM | | Comments (7)


Let's do the math here: Van Hollen still at the helm of the Congressional Campaign Committee + Ehrlich star power and fundraising prowess falling short in 2008 + a true Shore-bred moderate that folks can relate to = re-election for Kratovil. I don't understand how Sen. Harris could look at this race and decide it's worth running again. This is especially true in light of the fact that he would now be giving up his Senate seat to run. Oh, and let's not forget that he's starting this fundraising effort on the heels of being absent from one of the most important Senate debates in decades. He would have been the 24th vote for Pipkin's motion to send the bill back to committee, where it likely would have died. All of this makes one scratch his head in wonder and bewilderment.

I agree.. Andy Harris needs to do the math. Look at how republicans voted in Congressional One. There are many, many precincts where republicans voted for McCain but refused to vote for Harris. Those republicans either voted for Kratovil or failed to vote at all. Andy Harris was and will not be a good choice for republicans in Congressional One in 2010. All I can say is "Andy Please for everyone's sake, give us a break, and do not run again"

By Shore-bred, I assume you mean Western Shore? Since last time I checked, Lanham was in Prince George's County, which is not a Delmarva jurisdiction.

Kratovil is no moderate. Plain and simple. He was able to carve that niche in 2008 because he had no record to speak of, as judicial proceedings don't distill down for public consumption very easily.

That won't happen again. By the time the next election rolls around, he will have voted with Nancy Pelosi 90% of the time, and the moderate crap will be shown for what it is, an electoral ploy and nothing more.

The do the math comments are right on. In Anne Arundel County Congressional One the republican Harris-Kratovil vs. McCain-vote was astonishing. As a live-long resident in this District, I have never seen a Republican Congressional candidate do so poorly in District 33 especially along the north shore of the Severn River.. While many Republicans want to stay loyal to the party, we need to take a very hard look at the data, and be willing to honestly look at the facts of the 2006 and 2008 elections.
Andy Harris take note of what the voters actually said.

@ Banastre - my apologies. You're correct that Kratovil has only been on the Shore since 1997, which incidentally, is 12 years longer than Mr. Harris, who has never called the Shore home. I believe that the 1st District's constituents will require its Congressman be a moderate, or else re-election becomes a steeper hill to climb. Kratovil has been quick to fire off the press releases out of Washington every time he bucks the Democratic trend. Ultimately, I think that will be well received back home.

While you don't hesitate to bash Kratovil, you still don't address whether or not Harris is the right Republican to run for the seat. I maintain my assertion that he is most certainly not the man for the job. But, I wish him well and I hope he enjoys being a full-time doctor again once his life in elected politics is over. Also, I look forward to a more moderate Senator, D or R, from the 7th District.

Andy Harris never claimed to be shore-bred, so the comparison is moot. Harris also never claimed to be a moderate, so in that regard, he was unwilling to temper his beliefs for the sake of election, something I would argue Mr. Kratovil certainly did.

Is Andy the right man for the job? I don't know. I would encourage other Republicans to enter the fray so that we can have a legitimate discussion of the issues.

I will be a bold supporter of Mr. JB Jennings in the 7th District Senate race, however.

O, thank you God for giving the Dems. Andy Harris to run against again. Harris has to be totally ego driven. If anyone were to look at the polls of the last election, they would see that Andy's support was a straight line across the polls, while Kratovil's was on a constant rise. If the election had been a month later, Frank would have one by 5%.
As a life long resident of the 1st. dist., I can tell you, Harris has no understanding of the district. He fails to realize that Gilchrest won over and over, not because he was a republican, but because he was a middle of the road guy. A moderate republican. Very close to Kratovil being a conservative demecrat. The 1st. district also rejected Harris' mean spirited attitude. This is a guy who was so angry on election night that he couldn't even pull himself together to address his supporters, when he realized he had lost. Remember folks, with Andy, it is always "ALL ABOUT ANDY".

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Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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