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Del. Patrick L. McDonough
Del. Patrick L. McDonough (2014 file photo The Daily Record/Bryan P. Sears)

McDonough says he will seek Ruppersberger’s U.S. House seat

Del. Patrick L. McDonough, a staunchly conservative Republican, said Thursday that he will seek the GOP nomination this spring to unseat longtime U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.

“We’re moving in the wrong direction,” McDonough said, citing rises in terrorism and illegal immigration. “We not only need a new president, we need some new votes in Congress.”

McDonough, who represents Harford and Baltimore counties, said he will file candidacy papers with the Board of Elections next Thursday.

The Baltimore native, who has served 17 years in the House of Delegates, said he can accomplish more in the GOP-led House of Representatives than he can in the Democratic-run state legislature, which he refers to as the “Maryland General Asylum.”

McDonough, 72, said the voters in Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District have grown weary of Ruppersberger, 69, and the congressman’s support for what the delegate called President Barack Obama’s failed policies on combating terrorism and illegal immigration. McDonough noted that Ruppersberger served as the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2011 to 2015, a time during which the terrorist group ISIS grew in strength, the delegate added.

“He [Ruppersberger] gets an F-minus in my opinion because of all the terrible things that happened on his watch,” McDonough said. “This is an excellent time to run against Dutch.”

McDonough, a talk radio show host, has discussed in the past his interest in both challenging Ruppersberger for his seat in Congress and also running for Baltimore County executive but has never filed. The 2nd Congressional District stretches from Laurel to Havre de Grace and from Dundalk to Towson to Reisterstown.

McDonough would not have to give up his seat in the House of Delegates unless he wins the congressional seat. He would also be exempt from prohibitions on fundraising during the 90-day General Assembly session as long as the money goes to his federal campaign account.

— Bryan P. Sears contributed to this post.