Friday, September 14, 2012

REMATCH?: Former Rep. Wayne Gilchrest Weighs Challenge to Rep. Andy Harris // LaFerla Still Wants to Replace Wendy Rosen

former CD1 Rep. Wayne Gilchrest
DOUBLE-UPDATE: The Baltimore Sun is reporting that 1st Congressional District Democrats have voted to back John LaFerla to challenge GOP Rep. Andy Harris this November (excerpt below):
BALTIMORE SUN: LaFerla said the 12 Democratic central committees in the 1st District, which includes the Eastern Shore and parts of Baltimore, Harford, Carroll and Cecil counties, had voted to support him....

UPDATE: A Twitter user has informed us that Gilchrest is now denying the rumors and claiming he is not going to wage a write-in campaign. Others, however, raise the possibility that this means Gilchrest may switch sides and seek the CD1 Democratic nomination in 2014.

Former Congressman Wayne Gilchrest is reportedly interested in challenging incumbent Rep. Andy Harris in a re-match in this November's Presidential Election. Harris defeated Gilchrest in the 2008 Republican Primary in Maryland's 1st Congressional District. But Gilchrest is apparently thinking of capitalizing on the fact that Democrats are forced to wage a write-in campaign after last week's epic fail. Maryland Juice recently discussed the collapse of Rosen's campaign, after it was discovered that she had been voting in two states. The discovery led to swift condemnation from the Maryland Democrats.

As we noted, Rosen has now dropped out of the Congressional race, but Democrats are unable to replace her on the ballot. Instead, they've indicated they are going to wage a write-in campaign against Tea Party incumbent Rep. Andy Harris. Delmarva Now reports that former CD1 Congressman Wayne Gilchrest is interested in the race, but it is unclear if he is thinking of trying to get the Democratic Party's backing or going it alone. The Democrats, for what it's worth, are in a really tough position right now, because write-in campaigns are rarely successful (DC Mayor Tony Williams being a notable exception). Moreover, the last round of redistricting also made the district more Republican. Read this excerpt from the Delmarva Now report:
DELMARVA NOW: Former congressman Wayne Gilchrest and Chestertown physician John LaFerla are emerging as possible opponents to incumbent Andy Harris in the race for Maryland’s 1st District U.S. House seat....

LaFerla’s name quickly popped up in Democratic conversations, since Rosen narrowly defeated him in the primary. But Gilchrest, who represented the Eastern Shore in Washington for nearly two decades, said Thursday that he, too, might be interested.

“Nobody official has asked me to do anything since I’ve gotten out of Congress, but someone just asked me the other day when he heard the news about Wendy (Rosen),” Gilchrest said. “You begin to think about it.”

Democrat John LaFerla
DEMOCRATIC RUNNER-UP JOHN LAFERLA STILL INTERESTED IN CD1 RACE: Indeed, John LaFerla was the runner-up in last April's CD1 Democratic Primary, and he's already indicated interest in taking on Harris. Through a message on Facebook, LaFerla told Maryland Juice:
JOHN LAFERLA: My hope for the sake of the people of Maryland District 1 is that we can move the process along expeditiously so that a specific candidate can be selected by due process to stand up against our incumbent Representative. I am ready and willing to be that candidate.

More on the emerging dynamics in CD1 soon!

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