It seems to me that Delegate Pat McDonough from Baltimore County has a history of exploring various races and then getting out. In 2010 he thought about running for governor on the Republican side and earlier this year was considering a challenge to Second District Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger. He’s not quite up to the blinding pace of changing races set by Carmen Amedori, but he’s getting close. And the questions become: how well is he known outside his Baltimore base? Would his issue stance resonate with Republican voters in a statewide race?
In Pat’s favor, he does have the advantage of an occasional bully pulpit when he hosts his weekend radio show or fills in for Baltimore radio host Tom Marr, but we see how well radio hosting worked for Bob Ehrlich. Certainly his conservative viewpoint on immigration and similar topics would play well with a following that helped place the Maryland DREAM Act on the ballot for the November, 2012 election, though.
And out of the 141 Delegates in the General Assembly last term, Pat ranked 11th in my monoblogue Accountability Project – so he’s more conservative than most in the body, but not as strident as, say, an Andy Harris (who was among the top Senators.)
But there’s surely some disappointed Second District Republicans who thought they had a formidable candidate in McDonough – he even went so far as to hold a fundraiser with Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. Its purpose: to “dump Dutch Ruppersberger & his Nancy Pelosi voting record.” Meanwhile, the field for U.S. Senate already had a number of candidates, with the leaders among the group being 2010 GOP nominee Eric Wargotz and Dan Bongino, who has the backing of 2010 gubernatorial candidate Brian Murphy and his wing of the Republican Party. From what I understand, the war of words has already begun between McDonough’s allies and Dan Bongino, portending a nasty primary fight Republicans don’t need (think of the 2008 First District tussle between Andy Harris, E. J. Pipkin, and Wayne Gilchrest for an example.)
Pat McDonough will do what he wants to do, but perhaps this move wasn’t the best for the Maryland GOP. Only time will tell.