NO SERIOUS OPPOSITION IN SIGHT
COCKEYSVILLE, MD – First District Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) has filed for re-election to a second term in the U.S. House. With the filing deadline for the two major party primaries looming, it appears that Harris will not face serious opposition in 2012.
MATHIAS DECLINES TO RUN
With former one term congressman Frank Kratovil opting to seek a judgeship in Queen Anne’s County rather than seek the seat he lost to Harris in 2010, First District Republicans placed their worries on Maryland senator Jim Mathias (D-38). Mathias has shown that he can raise money and put together a strong grassroots campaign operation within the bounds of his Lower Shore senatorial district. Would Mathias run and could he translate his strong local campaign skills to a congressional run?
That question was answered yesterday when Mathias announced that he would not be seeking federal office:
"I’m very pleased where I am," said Mathias, reached while traveling to Annapolis for the start of this year’s legislative session. "I’ve only been here a year, and I thank the people for giving me their confidence."
While not part of his statement, Maryland politicos note that Mathias needs to focus his efforts on 2014 where a challenge from Del. Mike McDermott (R-38B) is expected. One source notes:
Jim Mathias is a great campaigner. McDermott is better. Mathias put together an admirable grassroots operation in 2010. So did McDermott. However, McDermott has become the darling of conservative activists on the Lower Shore. While he mounted a fine campaign in 2010, it’s expected that he would mount an even stronger effort in 2014 if he challenges Mathias for the District 38 senate seat. The only advantage Mathias would have is money. If he ran for Congress this year and was forced to run alongside Barack Obama, that could be the difference between winning and losing.
That’s a big risk to take just to challenge Andy Harris, who Mathias probably couldn’t beat anyway.
It is expected that McDermott will be faced with either retirement, challenging Mathias, or running against a fellow Republican, Del. Charles Otto (R-38A), because of re-districting.