Wargotz will decide on 2012 in fall
Eric Wargotz, the former Queen Anne's County commissioner who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Senate against incumbent Barbara A. Mikulski last year, will decide this fall whether to give a statewide run another shot in 2012, this time against Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin.
Visitors of his campaign website could have easily been left with the impression that the Republican physician was already in the race. The site includes a list of what Wargotz would stand for “as your senator” (he would oppose earmarks, for instance, and fight to repeal the health care law). Last week, the campaign released a video of Wargotz wearing a white lab coat in which he describes himself as “a candidate for U.S. Senate.”
But while he acknowledges being “interested” in running next year -- and also maintaining a volunteer campaign staff -- he said he has not made up his mind. The video, he said, is a re-release from his 2010 campaign. He notes that a summary accompanying the video points out he is “considering a run against [a] career politician.”
“The campaign has stuck together. I meet with the team once in a while. We’re looking at it. We learned a lot in the race in 2010 – we learned by leaps and bounds,” Wargotz said Thursday. “I’m not officially in the race. My name shows up here and there. I go where I'm invited to speak.”
Wargotz is eager, however, to state his opposition to the budget plan put forward by House Republicans this year that would overhaul Medicare and Medicaid. Democrats are using the proposal, which passed the House but failed to advance in the Democratic-controlled Senate, as a political weapon against Republicans.
Wargotz described the plan as a “real mistake,” both politically and in terms of policy.
If he does run, Wargotz would face Daniel Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent from Severna Park, in the GOP primary. If he won the nomination, he’d be up against Cardin, who is considered safe by political observers such as the non-partisan Cook Political Report. Mikulski beat Wargotz 62 percent to 36 percent in 2010.