DCCC fires shot at Bartlett
The campaign arm of House Democrats has for months been focused almost exclusively on one person in Maryland: Rep. Andy Harris, the first-term Baltimore County Republican. But on Wednesday the group added a new target – Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett – and the timing is not likely a coincidence.
In a press release Wednesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee tried to link the Western Maryland Republican with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, questioning whether Bartlett would support a health care plan Ryan unveiled this week.
Because the group tends to send out the same release to dozens of districts -- only changing the name of the target -- the issue raised is far less important than the fact that Bartlett’s name appears at all. It is a possible indication the DCCC has started looking at the seat as competitive. And that is almost certainly the result of speculation that the district will be altered when the General Assembly takes up redistricting next month.
Bartlett, first elected in 1992, has won with wide margins in the past, but a new district could change the political landscape, making it harder for virtually any GOP candidate to win. Bartlett, meanwhile, has not been aggressively raising money. He pulled in $28,300 in the second quarter of this year, making his the lowest haul of any member of the state’s delegation. Some inside-the-Beltway observers, including the newspaper Roll Call and the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, have labeled him a "possible retirement" this year.