HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Democratic state Sen. Rob Garagiola will formally announce on Tuesday his campaign to unseat 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett in a race made competitive by congressional redistricting, Garagiola’s campaign team said Friday.
The 39-year-old Montgomery County resident is regarded as the front-runner among Democrats hoping to reclaim the seat for their party for the first time since 1992.
Bartlett, an 85-year-old conservative, said in a telephone interview that he plans to stay in the race. He said most counties in the sprawling district had voter rolls that were majority Democrat when he first won the seat, so he’s not afraid of this challenge.
“I’ve run and won in a Democratic-majority-registration 6th District and never enjoyed the benefit of having a district drawn to pick voters for me,” Bartlett said.
The district become majority-Republican during Bartlett’s tenure but a new map approved this month by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly and Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley substantially reshaped it to include much of Democrat-heavy Montgomery County.
The district also includes part of Frederick County and all of Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties.
Garagiola will launch his campaign with speeches in Frederick, Germantown, Cumberland and Hagerstown.
Former Montgomery County Council member Duchy Trachtenberg is also seeking the Democratic nomination.
Four Republicans are challenging Bartlett for the GOP nomination, according to the State Board of Elections website.
They are Robert Coblentz of Washington County, Robin Ficker of Montgomery County; Brandon Rippeon of Frederick County; and Joseph Krysztoforski of Baltimore County. Although Baltimore County is no longer in the 6th District, Krysztoforski says he remains in the race.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)