Pat McDonough to jump into U.S. Senate race

I’m seeing this story on several outlets, but I haven’t read the details yet because I don’t want to prejudge my initial take on the decision.

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.

Author: Michael

It's me from my laptop computer.

7 thoughts on “Pat McDonough to jump into U.S. Senate race”

  1. The “Murphy Wing” of the party? Are you high, Mike? Pat is a very conservative candidate and the first real challenger to enter (maybe) this race. There is no love lost between Bongino and McDonough but if it does end up between these two (I think others will get in very soon) it would be much of a race.

  2. No, Greg, I’m quite sober. In case you haven’t noticed Brian Murphy DID get 25% of the primary vote – to me that qualifies as a “wing.” In what’s a seven-candidate race (at the moment) 25 percent is a good base to build from. You seem to have a little bit of a condescending attitude toward Murphy supporters (also known as the TEA Party.)

    I’ll grant that Pat McDonough is a “known” candidate (at least around Baltimore, maybe not so much on the outskirts of the state) but I wouldn’t necessarily say he’s the first “real” challenger. My first question for Pat is why he dropped the Congressional race for a statewide try.

  3. Mike, getting 24 percent in a primary does not mean that he leads a wing of the party. I missed the memo where the TEA party elected him their leader also. Brian’s endorsement does not start a candidate with 24% of the vote. That is ridiculous.

    It would be condescending to Murphy supporters to say they follow him blindly and why would TEA Party members oppose McDonough.

  4. Please enlighten me on what percentage of a primary vote would define a “wing” then. I think 1/4 of the vote is a pretty significant number myself.

    Now I’m making the modest assumption that a large base of Murphy’s support came from TEA Party Republicans – granted they could have been simply casting a protest vote against Bob Ehrlich. And of course you could be correct in saying that some of that voter bloc would be attracted to McDonough and change their loyalty, but I’m basing the 24 percent figure on Murphy’s imprimatur of Bongino as his chosen candidate. I have no good poll or anything like that to back up the assertion – it’s just a hunch I have. Yes, I supported Brian Murphy but I’m not sold on any one candidate yet.

    There’s a lot of people chasing down that conservative side of the party. I don’t think the race would be such a runaway in McDonough’s as you believe, and I also believe a lot of this depends on whether Eric Wargotz decides to try again. He’s the one who got 39% of the GOP vote last time so there’s apparently people in our party who liked what he had to say as well.

    Again, though, I would still love to know why Pat decided to jump into this race after raising money for a Congressional run.

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