Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex Mooney said Tuesday he will not run for Congress in the state’s 6th District and has endorsed incumbent Roscoe Bartlett.
Separately, freshman Republican Del. Kathy Afzali, R-Frederick, announced Tuesday that she would enter the GOP primary.
Mooney, a former state senator, formed an exploratory committee to consider running for the western Maryland seat amid speculation that the 85-year-old Bartlett might retire. But Bartlett is running for an 11th term and has stepped up his fundraising.
Republicans face a tougher fight to retain the seat than in years past, because the redrawn 6th District now includes more of Democrat-heavy Montgomery County. State Sen. Rob Garagiola is the perceived front-runner among the Democratic candidates.
Information from the Associated Press was used for this story.