Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's Chief of Staff Bud Otis Fired? // Mooney & Brinkley Enter Race for CD6 Republican Primary

Today, the rightwing blog Red Maryland broke news that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's Chief of Staff Bud Otis was allegedly fired:
Last week we reported that long time Roscoe Bartlett chief of staff Bud Otis had been trying to line up support to run for Congress from Maryland 6 despite the fact that his boss is still nominally running for re-election. We wondered if Mr. Bartlett was trying to hand pick his successor prior to announcing his retirement. Apparently not. We hear today that Mr. Otis has been fired.
Earlier this afternoon, a Maryland Juice source also sent us the following message with the same allegation:
You didn’t hear this from me but I heard from very reliable Republican source that Bud Otis was fired this morning…not that he resigned which is what the media is saying. I heard it shortly after 11 a.m., which gave them a few hours to make the story look nicer.
Indeed, in Washington Post coverage of the incident, the official story is as follows:
The plot continues to thicken in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, as Bud Otis has left his post as chief of staff to Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) in the wake of reports that Otis was soliciting support to make his own run for the seat.

“Last night, Congressman Bartlett accepted Bud’s resignation,” Bartlett spokeswoman Lisa Wright said Thursday. “He agreed with Bud that the multiple recent news reports about Bud’s activities made it impossible for Bud to continue to serve him and the residents of the Sixth District of Maryland effectively....”

Wright said it was not true that Otis had been fired, as the conservative blog Red Maryland reported Thursday, though without citing any specific sources. Otis joined Bartlett’s staff in 2001 and became his top aide in 2003.
Who knows if we'll ever know what actually happened. Either way, the floodgates are now open for additional candidates. Today the Frederick News Post reports that GOP State Senator David Brinkley is announcing an exploratory effort for CD6:
Sen. David Brinkley is considering a run for Congress, a spokesman announced today. The Republican state senator who represents Frederick County is forming an exploratory committee...

A number of state officials have offered Brinkley their support, Murphy said, including Delegate Kelly Schulz and Sen. George Edwards.
In addition, Maryland GOP Chair Alex Mooney is also launching a CD6 bid. The Washington Post reported today:
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett drew his most significant primary challenger yet Thursday, when Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex X. Mooney announced that he would form an exploratory committee to run for Bartlett’s seat....

Mooney, a former state senator from Frederick who worked on Bartlett’s staff for a short period in the early 1990s, had been mulling whether to enter the race himself for months, and the news of Otis’s maneuvering appears to have pushed him into a decision.

And let's not forget the Robin Ficker Realty factor!

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