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For Maryland 6th Congressional district: Rob Garagiola

The battle for the Democratic nomination in Maryland's new 6th Congress­ional district is now a heated race. In 2010 we endorsed State Senator Rob Garagiola for his current seat, and we endorse Garagiola again in this race based on his experience and his consistent support for smart growth and sustainable development.

Garagiola. Photo by chesapeakeclimate on Flickr.

The General Assembly redrew the district in 2011 to try to unseat Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a Republican who has represented the district in Congress since 1993.

The new district gains 350,000 western Montgomery residents, while losing 360,000 from northern Frederick, Carroll, Baltimore, and Harford counties. About 380,000 residents of western Maryland and southern Frederick County remain in the district.

Although Garagiola has been the frontrunner since before redistricting, the Democratic primary race is now competitive with the entry of John Delaney, a banker from Potomac.

Garagiola continues to represent the values of smart growth and sustainable policies in Annapolis, most recently as State Senate majority leader. In 2006, Garagiola prevented the closure of 4 MARC stations, including 2 in his district. He established and serves on the blue ribbon commission which came up with transportation funding recommen­dations last year, including increasing the gas tax.

Garagiola has sponsored legislation establishing programs to encourage the use of solar energy and clean energy. He also supports the Corridor Cities Transitway, the Purple Line, and Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve.

Many of his ideas are directly in line with policies advocated on Greater Greater Washington. He's also been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, as well as and labor unions.

In contrast, Delaney has never run for public office, does not live in the new district, and has contributed $2,400 to Andy Harris, the Republican candidate who defeated one-term Democratic Congressman Frank Kratovil in Maryland 1st district in 2010.

While being or supporting a Republican does not disqualify anyone from receiving Greater Greater Washington's endorsement and we have endorsed Republicans in local races, the GOP leadership in Congress has lately demonstrated a strong hostility to urban living and any policies which help urban areas.

Delaney has, however, received two major endorsements. First, the Washington Post endorsed him last week, citing his business experience (and Garagiola's sponsorship of legislation supported by teachers' unions). Second, Bill Clinton endorsed him, after Delaney raised more than $800,000 for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential race.

Based on Garagiola's record of advancing smart growth and sustainable policies, and Delaney's lack of a legislative record, we encourage Democratic voters in Maryland's 6th Congressional district to vote for Rob Garagiola in the primary on April 3.

This is the official endorsement of Greater Greater Washington, written by one or more contributors. Active contributors and editors voted on endorsements, and any endorsement reflects a strong majority or greater in favor of endorsing the candidate.


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[Deleted for violating the comment policy.]

Rob Garagiola represents the special interests and revolving door in today's politics that are crippling our government.

Though, in fairness, I do agree that Delaney is not the answer for MD-6. He represents the big money and banking/corporate interests that are crippling our government.

Vote for Milad Pooran - he represents neither of these corrupting and crippling influences, just good Progressive values.

by Gerrymandered Into MD6 on Mar 22, 2012 12:39 pm • linkreport

Don't know anything about this guy but this was a much better written endorsement than the one for Tom Brown. It actually "read" as an endorsement.

by HogWash on Mar 22, 2012 12:57 pm • linkreport

I love Rob. You're right be does have some great experience. But you mention the gas tax which he favored until he ran for congress. I'm a supporter of it and wonder why he backed off. Second one contribution to a republican after having given to (and i'm taking a guess on this) but probably 100 dems over the years isn't a reason to not support someone. Both would be good in congress but i think John would be great!

by Demo on Mar 22, 2012 1:23 pm • linkreport


Please, tell us more about these "special interests" and "revolving door[s]" that you claim Garagiola represents. Specifically, what are you talking about? And how does each particular interest (such as renewable energy?) "crippl[e] our government"?

Until then, you're just leveling an ad hominem attack.

by Jason Twining on Mar 22, 2012 2:49 pm • linkreport

I've dealt with Garagiola. I'd like to say something nice about him, but I can't. Delaney is far more appealing.

by Crickey7 on Mar 22, 2012 9:26 pm • linkreport

Much of the district is in rural Western Maryland, where public transit is non-existant and folks routinely drive long distances to go to work or go shopping or to the doctor. In that region, the proposed gasoline tax increase is reviled.

Annoying GOP gadfly Robin Ficker is already running radio ads attacking "Gas Tax Garagiola." With this year's increase in gasoline prices, I believe the gas tax issue could be a deciding one in this congressional race.

Even if - for the sake of argument - Garagiola is the better candidate, what are his chances of losing? What are Delaney's? Should this figure in the average voter's decision?

by Mike S. on Mar 23, 2012 1:47 pm • linkreport

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