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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DCCC Adds Kratovil to their Red to Blue Candidates

Frank Kratovil, the Democratic candidate for the House in the 1st district in Maryland has earned the recognition and support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). Kratovil earned this designation by demonstrating fundraising capabilities along with a message of change. Chris Van Hollen, the chair of the DCCC issued a press release naming an additional 14 candidates who have earned a spot in their highly competitive red to blue program.

Van Hollen is also a Maryland representative from the 8th district. He knows a little about beating incumbent Republicans - In 2002, he defeated a popular eight term Republican, Connie Morella.

Kratovil is the Queen Anne County State's Attorney and is facing Republican Andrew Harris, a state senator. Harris upset moderate Wayne Gilchrist, a seven term incumbent in the Republican primary creating this open congressional seat. He is considered one of the two most conservative state senators in Maryland - the other being Alex Mooney in the 3rd district.

Interestingly, Alex Mooney, following the same campaign approach, was first elected to the state senate by defeating moderate Republican incumbent Jack Derr. Harris was also aided in his victory over Gilchrist by the fact Republican state senator E.J. Pipkin also ran in the primary and received 21%. Harris received 44% and Gilchrist 32% of the vote.

As of March 31, the last financial filing date showed that while Harris had heavily out raised Kratovil in funds, the all important cash on hand was neck and neck. The Center for Responsive Politics showed Harris had raised 1,497,242 and had 205,688 cash on hand. Kratovil has raised 435,462 and had 182,058 cash on hand. Read report here.

Maryland has 8 congressional seats and six are considered "safe" Democratic seats. The other two are the 1st and 6th Districts where voter registration favor Republicans. With the 1st district now being classified as an open seat due to Gilchrist's defeat in the primary, this district is considered a better chance of a Democratic pick up than the 6th district, although the 6th district is in play.

The 6th District is represented by 8 term Republican Roscoe Bartlett who is opposed by Democratic challenger Jennifer Dougherty, a one-term Mayor of the City of Frederick. The Center for Responsive Politics has the last campaign finance report on March 31 showing Bartlett had raised 129,699 and had 281,311 cash on hand. Dougherty had raised 47,690 and had 19,240 cash on hand. Read report here.

The next congressional candidate finance report is due the end of this month so it will be interesting to see what has been raised and spent in the 1st and 6th district over the last quarter along with the all important cash on hand. Stay tuned.

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