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The behind-the-scenes jockeying among Democrats is well under way in Maryland's redrawn 6th district, with high-profile Montgomery County names eyeing the race to take on Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R).
Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley signed Maryland's new Congressional map into law today, solidifying a plan that reverses the political leanings of the currently safe Republican district. The Western Maryland seat was redrawn to include portions of Montgomery County, an affluent Washington, D.C., suburb and Democratic bastion.
State Democratic sources said former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan is seriously considering a run for the Congressional nomination. Insiders also said former state Del. Mark Shriver, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2002, is the subject of a great deal of speculation and that some activists are hoping that he runs in the reconfigured district. However, his level of interest remains unclear.
Former Montgomery County Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination this afternoon. "I will win the Democratic nomination for Congress because the Annapolis insiders and old school politicians have already lost,” she wrote on her website.
Democratic strategist Joe Trippi has signed on to be an adviser to her campaign.
State Sen. Robert Garagiola (D) indicated to Roll Call on Wednesday that he is strongly inclined to run as well.
Bartlett, who will be 86 on Election Day, has indicated he will run for re-election despite facing his first real contest in years. His office said as recently as Wednesday that he is running for an 11th term next year. However, Bartlett remains high on retirement watch lists, and if he runs, he begins the contest as the underdog.