Hoeber dominates weak CD-6 Republican field

While much energy has been expended on the 6th Congressional District Democratic primary as of late, the Republican primary, however, remains dormant.

Unless a high-profile candidate wades into the Republican primary before the Feb. 27 filing deadline, Amie Hoeber, a former Defense Department deputy undersecretary and national security consultant, will once again win the Republican nomination in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.

The 6th Congressional District could be the only competitive congressional race in Maryland this year, depending on the outcome of the Democrat and Republican primaries. However, national pollsters continue to show the Democrats will maintain control of the district.

The National Republican Congressional Committee named Hoeber to their first-tier Young Gun program during her first bid. Young Gun candidates, according to the national GOP website, “represent the most competitive congressional seats in the 2018 election cycle.”

Hoeber in 2016 also secured a number of high-profile endorsements, including Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who would likely campaign alongside Hoeber again after the June primary.

Hoeber, 76, bested seven Republican men the 2016 Republican primary and was slated against Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), her Potomac neighbor who lives four doors down.

Delaney, however, toppled Hoeber by nearly sixteen percentage points in the November general election and won re-election to a third House term.

Last summer, Delaney announced he would not seek re-election to the House and will instead run for president of the United States – the first official announced entrant into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Hoeber’s Republican competitors are virtually nonexistent and are almost universally unknown, and they have shown scant fundraising abilities. The other filed Republicans include Kurt Elsasser, Lisa Lloyd and Bradley St. Rohrs.

Libertarian Kevin Caldwell and Green Party repeat candidate George Gluck will likely represent their respective parties in the general election. Ted Athey, a Bernie Sanders progressive from Hagerstown, will also compete in the November general election as an unaffiliated.

Hoeber raised $118,00, according to the latest campaign finance report, with her Republican competitors reporting virtually no funds raised.

Hoeber reported $50,143 cash on hand and is expected to tap into personal wealth to fund a general election campaign. In 2016, Hoeber’s husband, Mark Epstein, a wealthy executive with Qualcomm, infused well over a million dollars into a super PAC that supported Hoeber’s congressional bid.

Super PACs are political action committees that can take unlimited contributions from wealthy donors, but they may not coordinate with the campaigns.

On the Democratic side, David Trone, co-owner of Total Wine & More, dropped a staggering $1.5 million of his own money into his campaign, according to the public campaign finance reports. Like Hoeber, Trone is a second-time congressional candidate, only this time in a different congressional district.

Trone’s finance report shows that he has $787,000 cash on hand, and he is likely to pump in more of his self-made fortune in the coming months.

A bulk of Trone’s expenses are tied up in consulting fees directed at Hickman Analytics, owned by Harrison Hickman, the prickly Chevy Chase pollster with national acclaim, who served as former Vice President Al Gore’s pollster for his 2000 presidential bid. Hickman was also a pollster for disgraced former U.S. Sen. John Edwards’ (D-SC) two presidential campaigns.

Del. Aruna Miller, a Montgomery County traffic engineer, raised over $300,000 from October to the end of December. The Trone campaign is said to view Miller as its top competitor in the primary to succeed the outgoing Delaney. Miller has the backing of EMILY’s List as well as a plurality of Montgomery County progressive activists.

Miller’s campaign reported $752,000 cash on hand.

State Sen. Roger Manno (D-Silver Spring) reported raising $83,055 from contributors. Manno gave his campaign a $72,000 loan. Manno reported $285,000 cash on hand at the end of 2017. Manno has the backing of former Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor, Jr. (D-Cumberland) and has been endorsed by a multitude of labor organizations.

Newcomer Dr. Nadia Hashimi, a pediatrician from Potomac, reported raising over $112,000 with $349,000 cash on hand. Hashimi loaned her campaign $225,00o shortly after entering the Democratic primary.

Retired Army officer Andrew Duck reported loaning his campaign $20,000. He brought in less than $1000 and reported 23,000 cash on hand.

Aerospace attorney Chris Hearsey, the most recent entrant into the Democratic primary, reported a little over $26,000 in individual donations in the last quarter. He loaned himself $28,000 and has $564.75 cash on hand.

The last day to file for public office in Maryland is Feb. 27 at 9:00 p.m.

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