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October 27, 2011

Former GOP Hill staffer to run in 2nd District

While much of the political focus in Maryland has centered on House seats held by Reps. Roscoe G. Bartlett and Donna F. Edwards, another district – held by Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Baltimore County Democrat – has also drawn a burgeoning list of potential challengers. The latest in the mix: Larry Smith, a former Republican Capitol Hill staffer who will announce his candidacy early next month.

Smith, a 46-year-old Timonium resident and former thoroughbred trainer who most recently worked as a legislative aide to GOP Rep. Andy Harris, said he believes his military background will appeal to voters in the 2nd District, which includes Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground. Smith, a reservist who served for seven months in Afghanistan in 2010, will formally jump into the race Nov. 7 at an event in Cockeysville.

“I couldn’t wait any longer,” said Smith, who said he decided to run for the seat in part because of the incumbent's votes in favor of raising the nation’s debt ceiling and the health care overhaul legislation pushed by President Barack Obama. “I would call myself a No Labels Republican who was inspired by the principles the Tea Party was formed by.”

 To be sure, any Republican in the 2nd District will face an uphill battle against Ruppersberger, a former county executive who has effectively parlayed his role as the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee into national prominence. He has also courted military families, creating a national program that coordinates the donation of air miles to service members and their families, for instance. The congressman has benefited from decent fundraising and has just over $414,000 in the bank. 

Ruppersberger’s district, which includes Harford, Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Howard counties, along with a part of Baltimore city, actually became slightly more safe for Democrats after last week’s redistricting by the General Assembly. In the new district, 61.5 percent of voters chose Obama in 2008, compared with 60.7 percent in the old district.

Yet a growing number of Republicans are eyeing the seat. State Del. Patrick McDonough has said he is considering running against Ruppersberger or running for U.S. Senate next year. State Sen. Nancy Jacobs stepped down from her position as Senate Minority Leader last week to consider a possible run against Ruppersberger – or a campaign for governor or Harford County executive.

Posted by John Fritze at 7:17 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Washington
        

Comments

This is fantastic news that Larry Smith is running for the U.S. House seat in the second district. I have been friends with Larry for over 15 years and he has the dedication to achieve whatever goals he has set for himself. I am also excited that Larry is not a career politician and willing to enter an arena that despatately needs a cleaning.

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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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