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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Maryland Sixth District Primary Nears

George Wenschhof

Last Friday, I published current sixth district voter registration data in a
column where I suggest a change in the manner redistricting is conducted nationwide.

The current voter registration numbers in the sixth (rounded off):

Democratic - 183,000
Republican - 141,000
Unaffiliated/Other - 90,000

I thought it would be interesting to look back to the 1992 election, the year Republican Roscoe Bartlett was elected to compare the voter registration numbers. Numbers were taken from Maryland Board of Elections website.

Democratic - 139,922

Republican - 140,979

Unaffiliated/Other - 29,677

Total - 310,578

Thomas Hattery (D) received 46% of the vote - 106,224

Roscoe Bartlett (R) received 54% of the vote - 125,564

Democratic voter turnout was 85%, Republican 84% and Unaffiliated/Other 81%.

It is interesting to note, the even registration between Republicans and Democrats in 1992 and the very high voter turnout in that election.

As the primary nears, the bickering and rumor mongering abounds among the top three Democratic candidates.

State Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola, who some believe was handpicked by state senate president Thomas V. Mike Miller, is the front runner among five Democrats vying to unseat Rep. Roscoe Bartlett.

Some Democrats, from the old portions of the sixth district, after suffering for 20 years without Democratic Party support, are resentful Garagiola is from the new portion of the district.

Garagiola has put his years as a state senator and his voting record to work for him as he has racked up endorsements from elected officials throughout the sixth district.

Leaving, Democratic challengers John Delaney and Dr. Milad Pooran to counter with national level endorsements from former President Bill Clinton and former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean respectfully.

The Pooran campaign is hopeful for a split in the vote between Delaney and Garagiola which would allow them to eke out a victory with a plurality of the vote.

Over, the next three weeks, Democratic voters will need to look past the sniping that often occurs between hotly contested campaigns and focus on the positions the candidates have on the issues important to them.

Democratic voters should plan to visit their websites and attend any remaining forums.

Below are links to Democratic candidates websites:

Rob Garagiola:
John Delaney:
Milad Pooran:
Charles Bailey:
Ron Little:

Republicans, recognizing the voter registration disparity in the district, will try to capitalize on Democratic in-fighting, to help their nominee win on November 6.

Perhaps, wishful thinking on their part, but one only needs to look at the 2002 Maryland Governor election between Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Republican Robert Ehrlich in which Ehrlich emerged as the upset winner.

After, an unremarkable 20 year term in office by Roscoe Bartlett, it is time for a change.

Democratic candidates and voters, mindful of the Townsend and Hattery defeat, should focus on the prize.

Stay Tuned...


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