Wednesday, March 28, 2012

CD1: Democrats Divided on Choice to Fight Rep. Andy Harris // Rep. Ruppersberger, NARAL, Sun Split Endorsements

UPDATE: Former Congressman Wayne Gilchrest is endorsing John LaFerla in the CD1 race.

The 1st Congressional District Democratic Primary in Maryland's Eastern Shore (and beyond), is finally beginning to take shape. Three Democrats are vying for the right to take on Tea Party Rep. Andy Harris (click on their names to visit their websites):
It appears that endorsing entities are dividing on the race and supporting different candidates. See examples of the various statement of support below:



NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC Endorses
Dr. LaFerla in Maryland’s 1st District

Washington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, announced that her organization’s political action committee endorsed Dr. John LaFerla, a physician who is running against an anti-choice incumbent in Maryland’s 1st District.

“I am proud to be endorsed by NARAL Pro Choice America PAC.  I've spent much of my adult life providing vital health care services to women.  Many of these services are now under attack by Andy Harris and other extremists in Congress.  I look forward to working with NARAL Pro Choice America to protect reproductive health care for women in the 1st District of Maryland and across America,” said Dr. LaFerla, MD, MPH.

Keenan said voters in Maryland’s 1st District could count on Dr. LaFerla to be an unwavering and effective advocate for women’s freedom and privacy.  In 2011, the House held eight votes on choice-related issues, the highest number in more than a decade. The district’s incumbent, Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), voted anti-choice on every vote, earning a zero-percent rating in NARAL Pro-Choice America Congressional Record on Choice.

“Dr. LaFerla has dedicated his life to providing health-care services to women,” Keenan said. “Andy Harris is following the lead of politicians who are practicing medicine without a license.  That’s why it is important that we have physicians like Dr. LaFerla in Congress who can speak to the need to protect the doctor-patient relationship. We will mobilize our members in support of his candidacy and remind voters in Eastern Maryland why they must act on their pro-choice values by electing Dr. LaFerla to Congress.”

For more information about NARAL Pro-Choice America’s electoral work, please visit



According to her campaign website, Wendy Rosen (a former Republican) has received endorsements from Harry Hughes, the Democratic Governor of Maryland from 1979-1987, along with the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters. The Baltimore Sun today also reported on an endorsement from Rep. Ruppersberger:
The Baltimore Sun: Ruppersberger backs Rosen in 1st District 
Democratic congressional candidate Wendy Rosen picked up the endorsement of neighboring Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger on Wednesday in her bid for the nomination in Maryland's 1st Congressional District....

Rosen's endorsement comes a day after LaFerla announced he had been backed by NARAL Pro-Choice America. The two candidates both appear to be running aggressive campaigns and the outcome may come down to the size of turnout in the Baltimore suburbs versus on the Eastern Shore.

LaFerla reported raising $83,186 for his campaign this year – that includes a $15,164 loan he made to his own campaign -- and Rosen raised $25,766. Letke has not reported raising money.


Kim Letke has one shared endorsement in the race, and it comes from The Baltimore Sun's Aegis editorial writers:
...Letke is a resident of Harford County, which is the largest single county block of votes in the district, so she possibly could parlay this into mounting a challenge to Harris. Rosen also has the potential to mount a meaningful campaign in the fall, as she has managed to run a solid campaign in the primary, something a lot of Congressional candidates have trouble with in the state's geographically largest district.

The Aegis recommends Democrats cast ballots either for Letke or Rosen in the First District primary.

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