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GOP’s Mooney mulls run in Maryland’s 6th District

Updated 1:30 p.m.:

The Associated Press is reporting that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s chief of staff has stepped down from his post to run for the 6th Congressional District seat.

Bartlett, through a spokeswoman, however, said that he wants to hold on to the seat he’s held since 1993.

According to the AP, Harold “Bud” Otis, 73, said Thursday that his decision would depend largely on whether Bartlett stays in the race.

Maryland Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola, another 6th District hopeful, announced Thursday afternoon he has picked up the endorsement of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, a Democrat from Prince George’s County.

Original Post:

That 6th Congressional District is getting awfully crowded.

Alex Mooney, chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, launched his exploratory committee for the seat Wednesday, officially filing paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission that will allow him to raise money.

Mooney, in a statement Thursday, said he will officially file as a candidate in January and relinquish his party post at that time.

A former state senator, Mooney is one of two and possibly three current and past members of the upper chamber eyeing the 6th seat.

Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola, D-Montgomery, has already launched his campaign and Sen. David R. Brinkley, R-Carroll and Frederick, has voiced his interest as well.

Mooney’s run was prompted by recent reports that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s chief of staff is mulling a run to succeed his boss should Bartlett decide not to seek reelection in 2012. Bartlett, a Republican, has held the seat since 1993.

“With the recent news about Congressman Roscoe Bartlett’s long time chief-of-staff preparing to run for Congress and the Democratic Party’s cynical and corrupt redistricting plan to oust Congressman Bartlett, I felt it was time for me also to start an exploratory committee for Congress,” Mooney said.

That same reasoning could pull Brinkley into the race, too.

As he told Maryland Reporter: “If he (Bartlett) is tempted or he is going to pull out, I’m definitely interested in running. The district can still be won by the right Republican, and if the congressman decides to step aside, I am the right Republican.”

Mooney, however, was focused on a General Election match-up in his statement, not a intra-GOP squabble in the primary.

“We cannot let Congressman Bartlett’s seat be taken by a tax-and-spend liberal like Rob Garagiola. Our economy is suffering and we need more jobs — not more government, more debt and more taxes,” Mooney said.

Others considering a run, or already running in the 6th include businessman John Delaney who crafted the Blueprint Maryland report and former Montgomery County Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg.