Anne Arundel County Councilman Jamie Benoit has decided not to challenge Rep. Donna Edwards in Maryland’s Fourth District, the Baltimore Sun reports.
In a statement last night, he said, “Given the uncertainty and turmoil that currently exists in the county, I know I can best serve Anne Arundel County by remaining on the council. Now more than ever, our community needs stability and experienced leadership. So I am staying put.”
Roll Call writes, “During redistricting, Edwards fought tooth and nail against the new map that took Montgomery County away from her district and replaced it with the more conservative Anne Arundel. Those comments irked Benoit and instigated his consideration of a run.” He said at the time, “I felt like she was trying to pick her constituents. In my opinion, it works the other way around.”
Former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey is still challenging Edwards, “but national activists are beginning to line up” behind the incumbent.
* Roll Call says that “even though 10-term Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has insisted repeatedly that he is running for re-election, members of both parties are treating Maryland’s 6th District as an open-seat race.”
Hagerstown Herald-Mail columnist Tim Rowland writes, “It all started when state Democrats tried to sneak away with the district in the middle of the night like it was the Baltimore Colts or something. Establishment Republicans responded angrily, as you assume they would, except that their anger was somewhat muted by the fact that they were pretty tired of incumbent Roscoe Bartlett, as well, and started positioning themselves as his replacement.”
* The Washington Post previews tomorrow’s debate between Virginia Senate candidates George Allen and Tim Kaine, saying some big questions include whether Allen can “keep his cool,” and how closely Allen will try to tie Kaine to President Obama. As the president’s “friend, ally and hand-picked Democratic National Committee chairman, Kaine is inexorably linked to the president’s agenda.”
* Virginia Virtucon talked with Allen at the Republican Advance this weekend, writing, “While Allen displayed command of a wide range of issues important to the people of Virginia, it was his discussion of energy issues that revealed his true passion.” He “has a deep understanding of energy-related subjects and their critical importance, and can speak to them at a level of detail that one normally expects from a senior fellow at a policy think-tank.”
* Bearing Drift’s Jason Kenney writes that Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli was not the only major Republican to skip the Advance. Senate candidate Jamie Radtke also stayed away from what Kenney calls “a golden opportunity for Radtke to get face time with the very people she has got to gain traction with to not only win the primary but, should she do that, work with” in the general election campaign.
* Phil Tran at Common Sense says that while he is neutral in the Virginia gubernatorial race, Cuccinelli “has the right to run.” He says Cuccinelli “never made the pledge that he would not challenge” Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, and “the ‘next in line’ mentality of the GOP is tiresome.” Republicans “have an entitlement mentality when it comes to primaries and this goes against everything they purportedly claim to advocate.”
* In the Washington Times, Cuccinelli writes that he is “cautiously optimistic” that the Supreme Court will strike down the federal healthcare law “and its requirement that every citizen buy government-approved health insurance. Congress clearly has the power to regulate commerce, but using that power to force individuals into commerce goes too far.”
* Politico says Gov. Bob McDonnell will drop by a Mitt Romney fundraiser in Richmond Thursday night. But a McDonnell spokesman says that does not mean McDonnell is endorsing Romney.
* As he continues a local book tour, former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich is also talking up Romney, the Washington Times reports. Though Ehrlich “he was elected to Congress in 1994 in the same GOP-wave election” that made Newt Gingrich speaker, Ehrlich says “the country needs the kind of strong leadership Mr. Romney can provide.” Ehrlich said, “Newt is an idea machine. The big brain is real.” But “he’s never really been a manager.”
* The Frederick News-Post reports Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot says he is “focusing on his job at the state’s chief financial officer, but is taking at look at a gubernatorial race.”
* The Sun says Democratic governors are expected to give Gov. Martin O’Malley a second term as head of the Democratic Governors Association. O’Malley “has led the group since last December, raising a ‘record breaking’ $11 million for the organization in the first six months of the year while using the position to build a national profile with frequent appearances on Sunday morning talk shows.”