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October 19, 2011

Bartlett says he will run for re-election

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, the incumbent member of Congress with the most to lose under the redistricting plan approved by the General Assembly Wednesday, announced that he plans to run for re-election, despite a more competitive district and recent lackluster fundraising.

Breaking his long-held silence on the redistricting plan, the Western Maryland Republican blasted the new map that will be in place for the April 3 primary and next year’s general election. The more competitive district has drawn interest from a handful of potentially strong candidates, including Democratic state Sen. Rob Garagiola.

“With 45% of Marylanders now minorities clustered in the city of Baltimore and in the suburbs of Baltimore and Washington, D.C., it was self-evident that there should be a new third majority minority district,” Bartlett said in a statement. “Unfortunately and obviously, these were the lowest priorities for the mapmakers in Annapolis.”

Bartlett, a 10-term lawmaker, has long faced speculation that the new district would prompt him to retire. He did not help dispel those rumors with his most recent fundraising report, which shows he collected only $1,000 in the past three months -- despite the fact that his race could easily become one of the most expensive in the country.

But in the statement, Bartlett tried to put aside any doubts about his reelection. And, it’s worth noting that potential challengers will start with no money in the bank.

“I filed for re-election in June and approval of this map hasn’t changed my plans to seek re-election to represent the residents of Maryland’s 6th District in the U.S. House of Representatives,” he said.

Through a spokeswoman, Bartlett declined a request for an interview.

Posted by John Fritze at 4:51 PM | | Comments (0)
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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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