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October 27, 2009

Harris one step closer to national GOP blessing

Baltimore County Republican Andy Harris has moved another step closer to gaining the full embrace of his national party's congressional campaign arm for the 2010 election.

The National Republican Campaign Committee announced that Harris had advanced to "‘contender" status, the second part of its three-stage program that culminates with the label of "young gun." The NRCC program is designed to help strengthen the organizational and fundraising operations of Republican candidates in House races for open seats or those held by Democrats.

Harris already has the tacit support of the NRCC in his bid for a rematch against Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil in Maryland's first district, which takes in the entire Eastern Shore and parts of several Western Shore counties.

Harris is giving up his state Senate seat to run again for Congress. He is the leading Republican contender in the district, although fellow state Sen. E. J. Pipkin has not ruled out another primary run.

"Andy Harris has already proven that he will be a formidable candidate by meeting the rigorous goals laid out by the Young Guns program and putting in place the pieces for a winning campaign,” said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions, a congressman from Texas. “Dr. Harris is part of a strong and growing candidate pool that is further proof that Republicans are ready to play offense over the course of this election cycle. His campaign is one of many putting Democrats on notice that their reckless big-government policies will not go unchallenged at the polls. Andy Harris has proven once again that he is ready to hold this Democrat majority accountable for their runaway spending sprees and put our country back on the right track.”

Posted by Paul West at 2:52 PM |
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010

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About the bloggers
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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