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.