Del. Patrick L. McDonough (R-Baltimore County) says that he is considering a run in 2012 against two incumbent Democrats — Sen. Benjamin Cardin and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger — but hasn’t yet decided which man to challenge.
In a statement issued Wednesday, McDonough — who has represented portions of Baltimore and Harford counties since 2003 — said he had been mulling for awhile whether to take on Ruppersberger in the 2nd congressional district. But since the redistricting process may end up making that a more difficult race, he may choose to go after Cardin instead.
“After much thought and consultations with others, I have decided that if the 2nd Congressional District is gerrymandered rendering it impossible to win, I will take a serious look at seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat in Maryland,” McDonough said.
Declaring that Ruppersberger and Cardin are “liberal political twins,” McDonough said: “I recognize that my critics will falsely charge that this plan may be indecisive. But, as I clearly stated before, my desire is to serve the people in Washington to help clean up the mess and make a difference. It does not matter whether that service is in the Senate or the House of Representatives.”
So far, the most high-profile Republican to enter the contest against Cardin is ex-Secret Service agent Daniel Bongino. On Twitter, Bongino said Thursday that he welcomed McDonough into the race “if & when he decides an office to seek.”
Neither race would be an easy one for McDonough. Ruppersberger has won reelection with ease — he got 64 percent of the vote in 2010 — and his seat is unlikely to get any more hospitable to Republicans under the new map. And Cardin will also be considered the heavy favorite in such a strongly Democratic state, particularly with President Obama atop the ticket to drive turnout.