I am so sorry that I have not updated this blog very much. Today's announcement from Senator Barbara Mikulski motivated me to write for one simple reason; I love to prognosticate who will run for open seats. Let's start with the Democrats.
Chris Van Hollen
In political circles, everyone knows of Rep. Van Hollen's desire to move up to the Senate. Over the past decade he has worked to position himself as the favorite to win his party's nomination.
Watch Delaney. In 2012, he disrupted the O'Malley-Miller coronation of Robert Garagiola by easily winning the newly drawn district 7 primary. From there, he defeated the frail and tired Roscoe Bartlett. In 2014, Delaney held off a spirited challenge by Dan Bongino. Watch Delaney. He's independently wealthy and thus able to compete with a financially stacked Van Hollen.
For some bizarre reason, O'Malley actually thinks he can win the United States presidency. Meanwhile, his hand picked successor, Anthony Brown, lost in what many viewed as a referendum on their record. Then last week, O'Malley received zero votes in a poll of 617 likely Iowa caucus participants. Anyway, many suspected that Mikulski would step down during his tenure as Governor. From there, he would appoint himself. Personally, I think that means his only chance at that seat has sailed.
Rep. Sarbanes has one of the most liberal voting records in the House. His dad, Paul Sarbanes, enjoyed immense popularity during his time as Senator. That would undoubtedly help John if she decides to make a run.
Mayor Rawlings-Blake does not act like many big city mayors. Rather, she's an independent-minded executive who has earned respect from both sides of the political aisle. Ms. Rawlings-Blake has also raised her stature by appearing on nationally syndicated talk shows.
Other possibilities who might consider, but would have an uphill primary battle--Doug Gansler, Kweisi Mfume, Peter Franchot and Dutch Ruppersberger.
As for the Republicans..
The former Harford County Executive finished second behind Larry Hogan in the 2014 Republican primary. He now serves in Governor Hogan's cabinet. Interestingly, Craig has a history of defeating incumbent Democrats and may have an easier time with an open seat.
Former Delegate Haddaway served as David Craig's running mate. She's attractive and an aggressive campaigner. She also helps buck the stereotype that the Republican Party is an old white guy's club.
Personally, I think Schuh will decline the temptation to run for Senate. Make no mistake though; he wants to run for Governor in 2022. A six year Senate term will transition nicely into that election cycle.
Mr. Bongino is an extremely likeable guy who has worked some tough beats in law enforcement. Unfortunately, filing in for Tom Marr, Mark Levin and Sean Hannity has caused him to move far away from the center. That's not the formula to win as a Republican in Maryland.
Similar to Mr. Bongino, Rep Harris has positioned himself too far to the right for a statewide run in Maryland. Plus, Rep. Harris isn't as likeable as the other potential candidates on this list. The one positive I see in a Harris run is a new Republican Representative in District 1.
Former Governor Ehrlich has lost his last two runs for statewide office in Maryland. He also changes his message depending on the crowd. He has the name recognition to win the primary, but he'd get humiliated once again in the general.
Other possibilities who might consider, but would have an uphill primary battle--Charles Lollar, John Grasso, Pat McDonough and Michael Steele.
My March 2015 prediction is John Delaney versus Dan Bongino.