A prize seat

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.