Bartlett, redistricting target, raises little
Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, the Western Maryland Republican who has become a target of the redistricting process in Annapolis, raised a mere $1,000 in third quarter of the year -- a number that is likely to fuel speculation about whether he will retire instead of fighting to retain his seat.
A Federal Election Commission report released Saturday showed Bartlett received only one contribution over the past three months. The donation, made Sept. 20, came from the Republican Main Street PAC, a Washington group that works to re-elect incumbents.
The congressman is a member of the group.
Bartlett has raised $73,725 since the 2010 election and has $260,727 in the bank.
The low number comes as Democrats in Annapolis are gearing up for a special session to redraw the state’s eight congressional districts. As part of that process, Democrats are drawing Bartlett’s district deep into Democrat-heavy Montgomery County, a move that will make his seat far more competitive.
The non-partisan Cook Political Report already considers the seat a “toss-up” and lists the 10-term incumbent as a “possible” retirement. A number of potential candidates have expressed an interest in the seat – particularly Democratic state Sen. Rob Garagiola.
Bartlett, 85, met with Gov. Martin O’Malley earlier this month to discuss the proposed new map and has described the changes to his seat as among the most significant in the country.
Bud Otis, Bartlett’s longtime top campaign aide, said fundraising has been slow largely because of the uncertainty surrounding the new districts and he warned against reading anything into the campaign finance report. He pointed out that Bartlett is one of the only incumbents who has officially filed to put his name on the 2012 ballot.
“Things have been in state of flux for a lot of people in the state,” he said.
Otis also said the campaign is confident Bartlett can win the new district.
“The Montgomery County area has been a strong supporter of ours already,” he said. “We gave the governor a very reasonable proposal. It’s all on the governor now. We’ll see how fair he wants to be.”