A prize seat
The new 6th District is not necessarily a slam dunk for Democrats — particularly given concerns over the economy and nose-diving poll numbers for Obama — but it nevertheless is a big opportunity.
“It’s a prize,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. “When you’ve got a seat like that that is switchable, you’re going to have millions” spent on advertising.
After historic wins in the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans enjoy a 50-seat advantage in the House.
Several voters in the district said they welcome the looming political contest but question the methods state leaders used to achieve it.
“It’s fine to have a competitive race,” said Alan McVay, a 58-year-old independent voter from Gaithersburg. “But I think the districts ought to correspond more to counties and municipalities and not to some arbitrary line.”
A bevy of potential candidates from both parties are circling the district, including Democrat Doug Duncan, a former Montgomery County executive, and Duchy Trachtenberg, a former member of the Montgomery County Council. Trachtenberg is the only high-profile Democrat who has officially announced a run for the congressional seat.
Duncan did not return several phone calls seeking comment.
State Sen. Robert J. Garagiola, 39, is another potential candidate who could draw considerable support.
The Montgomery County Democrat released a statement that he is “seriously considering” a run. Earlier in the month, he filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission required for candidates who intend to raise money for a federal race.
Known as an energetic campaigner and prodigious fundraiser, Garagiola has also quickly developed a statewide network of support that could propel his candidacy.
Moments after the state Senate gave final approval to the map, colleagues began wishing Garagiola well in the race. Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier, a Baltimore County Democrat, pretended to wipe away tears and sang a goodbye song as she walked by him in the State House.
But Garagiola also has a record in