Now that Maryland ’s Congressional Districts have supposedly taken shape, it’s important to note that primary election voters will hit the polls in little over five months. Critics of the new map often complain that this protects the jobs of Democratic incumbents. Of course, one current member of Congress makes no secret about her disdain for representing part of Anne Arundel County. Still, according to the law, a good part of our county would fall under her domain.
Keep in mind, only Andy Harris has seen his primary residence redistricted into an area that would force him to go against another Maryland Congressmen. That said, it’s widely expected he’ll claim residence at his Dorchester County condo to put him into position for a re-election bid in District 1. Meanwhile, no other Democrat faces a similar dilemma. Therefore, why does Donna Edwards have so much worry about gaining the Democratic areas of Anne Arundel County?
No doubt, Rep. Edwards maintains popularity in Prince Georges County, but remains an unknown around here. As a result, she finds herself susceptible to a prominent primary opponent, especially because no elected official would have to abandon their current seat to mount a challenge in District 4.
Thus, that opens the door for Councilman Jamie Benoit. Although he enjoys tremendous popularity among his constituents, term limits forbid him from seeking another four years on the Council. Naturally, this forces Mr. Benoit to ponder his future options. Would he consider challenging Ms. Edwards? Instead of speculating, I decided to ask him that question directly.
“I am not ruling out a run for Congress in District 4”, said Benoit. He added, “I want to make sure Anne Arundel County has the representation we deserve in Congress…. I don’t want us as some afterthought”. When pressed, Mr. Benoit insists he hasn’t made up his mind, but vows to fight for our county regardless if he enters the race or not.
I am convinced Mr. Benoit has a legitimate shot to take this seat. After all, it’s also rumored that Prince George ’s County State ’s Attorney Glen Ivy may throw his name into the fray. Under that scenario, him and Edwards would likely split the Prince George ’s County vote while Benoit could pick up many votes in his own back yard.
Like many other observers, I am looking forward to watching how this ultimately unfolds.