“I had people coming up to me that had been wanting me to run for Congress, and I was holding off out of loyalty to Congressman Bartlett,” Mooney said. “I figured that, well, if the Congressman’s chief of staff is going around getting people to support him, there wouldn’t be anything wrong with me doing the same thing.”
Republican state Sen. Christopher Shank is also discussed as a contender but did not return calls.
Myers, who considered running for the seat himself, voiced what several Marylanders have said they think might be going on, speculating that Barlett wants to pass the torch to his top aide.
“I just wonder if this wasn’t the plan all along,” Myers said.
Wright dismissed such talk as “speculation.”
In an interview with Roll Call last week, Otis gave no indication he’d been having conversations about running for Congress himself and was bullish on Bartlett’s re-election prospects: “He’s held that seat for 20 years now. It’s his to lose. Somebody has got to beat him. And I don’t see anybody out there that can do that.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.