Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CD6: GOP Delegate Kathy Afzali Bags Carpet to Run Against Rep. Roscoe Bartlett // Rep. Chris Van Hollen Gets a Pass in CD8

UPDATE: Del. Kathy Afzali is not running for Congress in CD8. She is carpetbagging into CD6 to join the parade of Republicans running against Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. Our previous headline for this article was "CD8: GOP Delegate Kathy Afzali to Challenge to Rep. Chris Van Hollen for Congress?" Given this development, we have obviously changed the title to reflect the facts. Two Maryland Juice readers forwarded her email announcement this morning:
I thought I would start the New Year right by letting you  know that I am running for Congress, District 6.

Now that I have gotten your attention, I will tell you why I think I am the best candidate for the job.

Here goes....

As you know from news reports and my emails, the Obama/O'Malley Congressional redistricting map is an attempt by the White House and the Governor to create a "Democrat" House seat from a traditionally Conservative area. This affront to good government splits Frederick County into two pieces and loops Western Maryland with Montgomery County in an effort to stack the former District 6 with Democrat precincts.

If the Republicans lose this seat in the 2012 election it will be nearly impossible to win back. Any future Republican would have an uphill climb defeating an incumbent Democrat, which would mean that Western Maryland would be virtually voiceless in our nation's capitol. Unless we can overturn the map with a petition drive or the pending lawsuits, it is critical for Republicans to hold the seat in 2012.

The district, as it is set, is challenging for a Republican to win but not impossible -- for the right Republican.

I believe I am the right Republican and here's why:

First, there are currently three top tier candidates that have announced that they are seeking  the Republican nomination -- Bartlett, Brinkley, and Mooney. While each of them has some of the qualities that District 6 voters are looking for, the Democrat machine that will face them won't hesitate to highlight each of their personal and/or legislative shortcomings. I think it is a long shot for any of them to win a general election.

Next, each Republican Candidate will have to introduce themselves to a huge block of new voters in a brand new district. You need a Republican Candidate with the energy and "chutzpah" to bring a positive message to new voters who have probably never heard their name prior to meeting them.

In addition, District 6 will need a strong conservative that will appeal to independents, is steadfast in constitutional principals, but able to cross party lines collaboratively.  The candidate will need to be an articulate and steady voice against the Obama agenda.

Each of the three top tier candidates have some, but not all of these qualities. I believe that I do.

This decision was not made lightly. My husband David and I have been discussing, praying, and weighing the pros and cons for months. The answer we kept arriving at was that Kathy Afzali is the best person to win in the new District 6.

This morning in Annapolis, David and I will stop at the Board of Elections where I will file my candidacy for Congress. Shortly thereafter I will be holding a press conference in front of the Board of Elections building. I sincerely ask for your financial support and most importantly your prayers. If you honor me with your vote I promise to be the hardest working, most committed Congressional Representative you have ever had. I am now and will always be unapologetically conservative. This New Year will definitely be an adventure. I can't wait.

In closing, I have a message for O'Malley and Obama---Don't start measuring for curtains in that Congressional office just yet!

Yours in Liberty,
Kathy Afzali   
Bethany Rodgers at the Frederick News Post is reporting that GOP Delegate Kathy Afzali is planning to run for Congress in an unspecified District:
In an announcement that came as a surprise to some of those in her party, Republican Delegate Kathy Afzali on Monday said she was preparing to file her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives....
Afzali, who has one year under her belt as a Maryland delegate, said she intended to submit her paperwork to the Maryland State Board of Elections at about 8:30 a.m. today and then hold a news conference in a government building in Annapolis to discuss her run, the release stated.

Afzali lives in Middletown, but her news release didn't specify which congressional seat she would be seeking.
Maryland Juice feels comfortable guessing that Del. Afzali is planning on challenging Rep. Chris Van Hollen in the new 8th Congressional District. For starters, that's where she lives. I flagged Ms. Afzali's house on the 2012 Congressional District map below (marked by a neon green push-pin):

Moreover, there are plenty of candidates already in the 6th Congressional District race -- including the incumbent GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (at least for now). Early on, some speculated that State Senator David Brinkley would challenge Rep. Van Hollen, but he is instead carpetbagging into CD6. With Brinkley out of the way, my guess is that Del. Afzali figures she would have a decently clear path to the Republican nomination in CD8. Most importantly, this is a "free shot" for her, as she doesn't have to give up her State House seat to run for Congress.

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