Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eight for Eight: Casey Clark for Congress, Part One

By Marc Korman.

Seven of Maryland’s eight seats in the US House of Representatives are currently represented by Democrats. In Maryland’s 6th district, Republican Roscoe Bartlett has been holding office since 1992. Candidate Casey Clark hopes to break that winning streak. In three parts, we will take a look at the incumbent and the district, challenger Casey Clark, and his chances.

I last discussed the 6th District in July of 2008, when Democrats were optimistic that former Frederick Mayor Jennifer Dougherty would be able to knock off the incumbent. Here is how I described Bartlett then:

Roscoe Bartlett is 82 years old [now 83] and sits on three House Committees: Armed Services, Small Business, and Science. The House of Representatives was Bartlett’s first political office, although he ran unsuccessfully for Congress once before. He has had a diverse career including working as a teacher, a research scientist, inventor, businessman, and farmer. He has 20 research patents to his name.

In Congress, Bartlett is known for his science background and his involvement in naval issues. He does not have much of a record of passing legislation. Looking through the Library of Congress’ bill tracker, there is no indication that Bartlett passed a single bill or amendment on the floor during his entire Congressional career. To be fair, that does not necessarily mean he has not done anything, as often times legislation is combined with other bills or amended in committee.
Dougherty won 38.8% of the vote in 2008, slightly better than Andrew Duck’s 38.4% in 2006. Dougherty held Bartlett to 57.8% of the vote, his worst performance since 1996. Even in two Democratic wave years of 2006 and 2008, the district leans Republican. As I described it in 2008, the 6th District

includes Frederick, Alleghany, Carroll, Garrett, and Washington counties and parts of Baltimore, Harford, and Howard counties. The district also has six, sparsely populated precincts in Montgomery County. The district map can be seen here. Since 1993, the 6th district has been represented by Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. Bartlett has won the district with over 55% of the vote since 1992. It was specifically drawn for a Republican, going for President Bush with 61% of the vote in 2000 and 65% in 2004.
In 2008, John McCain received 58% of the vote in the district to Barack Obama’s 40%.

Next time, we will meet one of Bartlett’s challengers in 2010.