State Sen. David Brinkley

If there’s one thing I know about running a political campaign (and it’s more likely that I know nothing) it’s that when it comes down to the wire and you don’t have a comfortable lead on your opponent, you should release evidence of a scandal just before the vote.

That’s what supporters of US Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who has represented Maryland’s recently gerrymandered sixth district for ten terms, have done. The group, called “Victory for Bartlett,” sent a mass email to registered Republicans in the district smearing Bartlett’s stiffest competition in the primary, state Sen. David Brinkley, who actually lives in the eighth district. The email links to three YouTube videos: two concerning alleged domestic disputes between Brinkley and his former wife, another falsely accusing Brinkley of never voting against Gov. Martin O’Malley’s state budgets.

I’m sure that if I had a job I needed to reapply for every two years, I could get a little cut-throat — and of course Bartlett’s actual connection to the group is uncertain — but after twenty years serving (albeit of a differently bounded district), I’d say you’re a known quantity. If people don’t want you anymore, they don’t want you anymore.

The most recent poll puts Bartlett and Brinkley in a statistical dead heat — Bartlett at 34 percent, Brinkley at 31. Even if Bartlett wins the nomination, he’ll have a real fight on his hands in the general election — his is the seat Democrats were hoping to nab from Republicans in the recent redistricting.

Any sixth district Republicans out there? What’s your take?