The Washington Post

Anne Arundel County Council member Jamie Benoit explores primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards

updated 8:53 a.m.

Anne Arundel County Council member Jamie Benoit (D) said Tuesday he would mount an exploratory bid in the 4th congressional district race. Benoit would be the first major candidate to challenge Rep. Donna Edwards (D) under Maryland’s new redistricting map.

Under the new lines, which may still face legal challenges, the 4th District no longer includes a portion of Montgomery County. Instead, it instead extending east from Prince George’s County into Anne Arundel.

Edwards, who is African American, has complained that the new map disenfranchises minority voters in Montgomery County.

Benoit, who is white, hails from the newly added portion of the district, which Edwards has never represented. Edwards could also face a primary challenger from a fellow African-American in Prince George’s.

Edwards’s campaign declined to comment on Benoit’s announcement.

Benoit, an Army veteran, said in a statement that he would run “for all of us; for our heroes – the servicemen and women returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan who need us now more than ever; for the men and women from GlenArden to Arden on the Severn struggling to make ends meet ...”

Benoit said he was interested in running because he thought Congress was too busy “posturing” instead of focusing on “putting Americans back to work.”

Benoit has served on the Anne Arundel council since 2006. He also runs an IT company called Federal Data Systems.



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