Bartlett's fundraising prompts retirement speculation
Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett’s relatively low fundraising take in the second quarter of this year landed him in a story in a Capitol Hill newspaper Tuesday focused on potential House retirees.
The story, which appeared in Roll Call, listed about a dozen House members across the country, including some in competitive districts, who raised less than $50,000 from April through the end of the June. Bartlett was the third example in the story.
The 10-term Republican, whose Western Maryland district is a potential target of the state’s redistricting process, raised $28,300 in the second quarter of this year, making his the lowest haul of any member of the state’s delegation, The Sun reported Tuesday.
It’s worth noting, though, that Bartlett has never been a particularly prolific fundraiser but has nevertheless won elections with wide margins. At this same point in the 2008 election cycle, for instance, Bartlett raised $20,676 -- less than this year. He went on to win the election with 58 percent of the vote in a wave year for Democrats.
At that time, Bartlett reported having $217,134 in the bank. So far this year, he has slightly more: $262,765.
The main difference this year, however, is redistricting. That process, which takes place once a decade, is controlled by Democrats in Annapolis. There has been copious chatter about whether Gov. Martin O’Malley and legislative leaders will make an attempt to draw one of the state’s two GOP lawmakers -- Bartlett or Rep. Andy Harris of Baltimore County -- into a less favorable district for the 2012 election.
Bartlett announced plans to run for re-election July 5 and he is the only incumbent member of Congress who has already filed with the State Board of Elections.
"I am humbled by the continuing strong support by the voters in central and western Maryland,” he said in a statement at the time. “My advocacy to create the conditions for economic recovery by reducing spending, the tax burden on working, and the maze of regulations by the federal government resonate with my constituents as a common sense agenda."
Bartlett’s campaign has not responded to requests for comment on his fundraising.