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December 1, 2011

Mooney considers run for 6th District

Republican state party chairman Alex Mooney said Thursday he expects to run for Congress from Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, setting up a potentially messy GOP primary in the increasingly competitive district.

Mooney, a former state senator who represented Frederick and Washington counties from 1999 through the end of last year, said he filed paperwork Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission that will allow him to raise political cash. The filing had not yet posted on the agency’s website Thursday.

“We cannot let Congressman Bartlett's seat be taken by a tax-and-spend liberal like Rob Garagiola,” Mooney said, referring to the Democratic state senator who is formally seeking the seat. “Our economy is suffering and we need more jobs – not more government, more debt and more taxes.”

But before Mooney makes it to November’s general election, he’ll have to clear the April primary. The incumbent, Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, has said he will seek reelection but has so far not aggressively campaigned for the seat.

Bartlett’s longtime chief of staff, Bud Otis, is said to be considering a run if Bartlett decides to retire, according to item that appeared last month in the Red Maryland blog. Though Otis has not commented on the rumors, Mooney addressed it directly in his announcement.

“With the recent news about Congressman Roscoe Bartlett’s long time chief-of-staff preparing to run for Congress and the Democratic Party's cynical and corrupt redistricting plan to oust Congressman Bartlett, I felt it was time for me also to start an exploratory committee for Congress,” said Mooney, who is 40.

The 6th District has received national attention after Democrats in Annapolis redrew its boundaries this year to include more Democratic voters. The seat, which includes Western Maryland along with portions of Frederick and Montgomery counties, is one of the few pickup opportunities for House Democrats in the country.

In addition to Garagiola, a former Democrat on the Montgomery County Council, Duchy Trachtenberg, has announced her candidacy. A Montgomery County businessman, John Delaney, announced last month that he is also considering a run for the seat.

Republicans have been slower to enter the race as they waited for Bartlett’s next move. Five Republicans, including Bartlett, filed with the State Board of Elections to have their names placed on the 2012 ballot. One, Brandon Rippeon of Frederick, became the first candidate in either party to run a television advertisement on cable last month.

Mooney’s announcement appears to be more of a commitment to run than many other candidates forming exploratory committees. The statement says definitively that he “plans to officially file as a candidate for Congress in January” and notes that he plans to step down from his position as chairman of the Maryland Republican Party at that time.

Posted by John Fritze at 11:45 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Washington


As a Democrat, a Mooney candidacy is very welcome. That would boost Garagiola's chances immensely!

Mooney would be a great pick for Western Maryland. He's a hard campaigner and a strong fiscal conservative.

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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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