Bongino: I won’t be a lifer

Expanding on a possible “outsider vs. establishment” theme to get him through a Sixth District primary against at least two challengers (David Vogt and, more recently, 2012 aspirant Brandon Rippeon) Dan Bongino promised “I will always be one of you. I will never be one of them.”

At this time, the front of his campaign website has four promises he’s vowing to keep: in brief, they are donating half his salary to charity, not voting for anything which “exempts the political class”, no free vacations (or as he calls them, foreign junkets), and most importantly to me, a six-year term limit. On that point Dan says:

I will serve no more than 6 years or three terms in the House of Representatives. One cannot speak of term limits within a specific office while insulated within that office from the very people they are elected to serve.

That’s only half of what Andy Harris promised informally when he took office in 2010. But what’s most intriguing to me is that Dan will only be 46 when that time is up, in a year where nothing will be on the ballot except a Presidential election and his seat. I know the 2020 election seems a long way off, but if Dan holds true to his word he would be on the ballot in 2014, 2016, and 2018.

Now that doesn’t mean, of course, that Dan couldn’t serve just two terms in Washington and then decide to run for governor, presumably in this case against a Democratic incumbent. Another option would be what one could call the Martin O’Malley option: spend the two years between the end of the term and the election stumping for higher office. That would mean a 2022 run for governor, when the seat would be open unless a new governor is elected in 2018.

Needless to say there’s a whole lot of speculation in all this, but one has to ask: when Bob Ehrlich won a Congressional seat in 1994, did anyone foresee it as a springboard to the governorship eight years later? Maybe lightning could strike twice in Maryland.