House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is weighing into the competitive and heated Democratic primary in Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s (R) redrawn district, throwing his support to state Sen. Rob Garagiola (D-Montgomery).
Garagiola faces financier John Delaney, Air Force doctor Milad Pooran and two other candidates in the April 4 Democratic primary, a key contest given that Bartlett’s district now swoops into Montgomery County and is considered a battleground seat in November. Bartlett also faces a tough primary on the Republican side.
Hoyer informed Garagiola of his choice last week, and a public endorsement is planned in the next couple of days, though Garagiola’s campaign isn’t yet commenting on the subject. The news was first reported by Roll Call.
Hoyer’s choice is not surprising given that he and Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) are allies. Miller led the effort in Annapolis to redraw the 6th district to make it especially favorable to a Garagiola candidacy.
Delaney’s campaign dismissed the importance of Hoyer’s move.
“This election will not be decided by endorsements any more than it will be decided by Rob Garagiola’s political, insider effort to draw himself a favorable district in Annapolis,” a campaign spokeswoman said, adding: “We’re confident that on April 4, Congressman Steny Hoyer will be calling us with his endorsement.”