Maryland state Del. Neil C. Parrott (R-Washington County) says he plans to run for Congress in the heavily gerrymandered 6th Congressional District.
Parrott, 49, of Hagerstown, is a three-term conservative Republican representing District 2A in its lower chamber.
He told several Republicans at the state Republican Party’s fall convention that he’ll formally announce his candidacy in Oakland, Maryland, on Nov. 21.
Parrott’s kickoff begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday at “The Welcome Gazebo” in downtown Oakland, according to the Garrett County Republican Central Committee’s Facebook page.
“I think it’s fair to say we were quite surprised when he said he was going to announce in Oakland,” said Fred Fox, secretary of the local GOP committee.
Fox said Parrott indicated he planned to jump into the Republican primary during the September funeral of a longtime Garrett County Republican activist.
Parrott did not respond when A Miner Detail emailed him for comment.
Parrott’s election history
Mr. Parrott has represented District 2A since 2011.
He helped form the Hagerstown Tea Party in 2008 and is responsible for organizing several state referendum petitions, all of which failed at the ballot box.
Parrott identifies as an evangelical Christian. He fought against expanding reproductive rights for women and the LGBTQ community.
A staunch supporter of President Donald J. Trump, Parrott is in lockstep with the national GOP’s opposition to the president’s impeachment inquiry launched in September after Trump’s infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump requested Zelensky to dig up political dirt on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Trump’s eventual November 2020 general election rival.
Last November, a three-judge federal panel unanimously threw out the 6th District’s congressional map in a long-running partisan gerrymandering case.
Two days after the ruling, Parrott announced he was forming a congressional exploratory committee.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that federal courts are not appropriate venues to resolve partisan gerrymandering. The High Court remanded the cases to the state’s lower courts with instructions to dismiss the suits.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R), an ardent opponent of partisan gerrymandering, expressed his disappointment with the Supreme Court’s decision and vowed to remain steadfast in his push for nonpartisan congressional districts.
Hogan intends to resubmit a bill to the General Assembly instructing a nonpartisan commission to redraw Maryland’s eight congressional districts fairly and without partisan politics in mind.
The 6th District is currently held by Rep. David Trone (D-Md.). Trone, a freshman congressman, says he’ll run an aggressive re-election campaign.
To date, only one Republican – Kevin Caldwell, the 6th District’s 2018 Libertarian nominee – is officially filed with the state Board of Elections.
Maryland’s primary was originally slated for April 2020 but was pushed to June by the governor because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
*This article was updated on March 18, 2021.*