Duncan will not seek 6th District seat
Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan said Tuesday he will not run for the House of Representatives from Maryland’s newly crafted 6th Congressional District, noting his belief that his strength is as an executive, not a legislator.
“You want to run for an office that you fit,” Duncan, who acknowledged that he had looked into running for the 6th District, told The Sun in an interview.
Duncan, who served as county executive from 1994 to 2006 and who sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 2006, would have drawn considerable attention to a race that is already likely to be among the most competitive in the country.
The seat is currently held by 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, who has said he will seek reelection. Democrats in Annapolis redrew Bartlett’s seat as part of the once-in-a-decade redistricting process to include more Democratic voters in Montgomery County.
State Sen. Robert Garagiola has been the most aggressive campaigner so far. But Duncan said he is considering throwing his political muscle behind businessman John Delaney, a Montgomery County commercial banker who said this week he is exploring a possible run.
Duncan speculated that Bartlett will make an issue out of the redistricting – casting himself as a target of Democrats in Annapolis. He said he also expected Bartlett would try to define Garagiola as anointed by those same Democrats for the seat. Delaney, Duncan added, would come at the race without that same political baggage.
A former member of the Montgomery County Council, Duchy Trachtenberg, is also seeking the Democratic nomination.
Updated: Garagiola's campaign is responding to Duncan's remarks by taking a swipe at Delaney.
"Rob's experience creating jobs is already gaining him support in Western Maryland," Sean Rankin, Garagiola's campaign manager said in a statement. "Now voters throughout the district will have a clear choice between a veteran with a proven track record of fighting for middle class families, or an unvetted big banker."
Updated: Katie Burnham, a spokeswoman for Delaney’s exploratory committee, said that the businessman will spend the next few weeks touring the district, listening to voters as he decides whether to jump into the race. “He is right now being encouraged to do so because of his track record of creating jobs, which would be his focus” as a candidate, Burnham said.