Trachtenberg to run for Congress in 6th District
A former Democratic member of the Montgomery County Council who lost her reelection last year after battling with public employee unions said Thursday that she will run for Congress from the new Western Maryland district created this week as part of the state’s redistricting process.
Duchy Trachtenberg, an at-large member of the council from 2006 through 2010, is the first Democratic candidate to formally enter the race -- through several high-profile Democrats and Republicans are strongly considering a run.
The seat is currently held by 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, who has said he will seek reelection.
“They’re really looking for independence,” Trachtenberg said of voters when asked why she would be the best Democratic candidate to take on Bartlett next November. “It’s going to really take some direct, honest dialogue and some bold ideas and also some willingness to make hard decisions.”
The 6th District, a longtime conservative stronghold, will now include portions of Democratic-rich Montgomery County and is expected to be among the most competitive races in the country next year. Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, signed the new map into law Thursday.
Several candidates have been eyeing the seat even before the process wrapped. Another Democrat who has expressed an interest in the district is state Sen. Rob Garagiola. It's yet clear whether Bartlett will face a primary challenge, but speculation has swirled about several possible GOP contenders, including state Sen. David Brinkley, state Sen. Chris Shank and state Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney.
Trachtenberg ran afoul of public employee unions after questioning a costly compensation package for county workers. The unions later claimed credit for her defeat -- a position that could potentially help Trachtenberg in the more conservative parts of the district.
Trachtenberg will bring at least one high-profile political consultant into the race: Joe Trippi, who met Trachtenberg during the 2004 presidential campaign. Both worked for former Vermont governor Howard Dean.