State Sen. David Brinkley formally announced his primary challenge to 10-term Republican U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett for the 6th Congressional District seat.
“At some point, there's time to pass the baton,” said Brinkley (R-District 4, Frederick and Carroll counties) Wednesday during a press conference outside Frederick City Hall. “I think now's as good a time as any.”
Brinkley is among several candidates to announce intentions to run for the 6th District seat, which now includes a larger portion of Montgomery County. The Frederick County lawmaker is in his third term as a state senator, having served two terms in the House of Delegates. He is the chairman of the senate’s Frederick County Delegation.
Brinkley was joined by several Western Maryland lawmakers and supporters during Wednesday’s announcement, including state Sen. Christopher B. Shank (R-District 2, Washington County), Del. LeRoy Myers Jr., (R-District 1C, Allegany and Washington counties), Del. Kelly Schulz (R-Dist. 4A, Frederick County), Frederick Mayor Randy McClement and former state delegate Richard B. Weldon.
After the announcement, Myers said he thought Brinkley would be more responsive to constituents than Bartlett, the incumbent. Myers also said he thought Brinkley would have an easier time relating to Montgomery County voters than Democratic candidate state Sen. Robert Garagiola (D-Dist. 15, Montgomery County) would have relating to Western Maryland voters.
Garagiola lives in Germantown.
“My question would be to someone who's running for congress, is how much time have they spent in Western Maryland? Whether it's right or wrong, we are a little different over here in Western Maryland,” Myers said.
Brinkley, who runs a financial planning business, said he thought Montgomery County voters would see eye-to-eye with another small business owner. Though Brinkley lives in Frederick County, the recent round of redistricting places him outside the bounds of the newly redrawn 6th District.
Under the new map, Brinkley lives in the 8th District, represented by U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat. On Wednesday, Brinkley echoed what he told Patch in December, that he would consider moving for the race.
“The mission for this race is to keep this district Republican,” Brinkley said, “So that Western Maryland's interests can be protected in addition to newer parts of Montgomery County.“