As soon as word got out that legendary Maryland Sen. Barb Mikulski would not seek reelection in 2016, the press got busy figuring out who might vie for the long-occupied seat, and the state’s politicians had to decide quickly whether they were somewhat likely, likely, or very likely to have a go at it.
Here are some highlights from the long list:
+ Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Our very own mayor has been brought up as a Mikulski replacement. A source told BuzzFeed News that Rawlings-Blake, who was reportedly surprised by Mikulski’s announcement, will take the next several weeks to decide whether to run. Officially, the mayor has said through a spokesman that she is “fully focused on serving the citizens of Baltimore.”
+ Martin O’Malley. The former governor was one of the first names to pass pundits’ lips as a possible successor to Mikulski, the logic being that perhaps O’Malley’s presidential ambitions would be better served by avoiding butting heads with Hillary Clinton (probably) in 2016, and bide his time in the Senate. O’Malley refused to comment on the possibility, but the general view seems to be that he ought not risk losing a Senate bid if what he wants is to be president. UPDATE: O’Malley has announced he will NOT run.
+ Rep. Chris Van Hollen. The Democrat representing the D.C. suburbs in Montgomery County has made it no secret that he’d like to climb the congressional ladder. And he could be a force to be reckoned with, given his “fundraising prowess.” An aide told Politico he will “very likely” run.
+ Rep. Donna Edwards. Edwards’ name has been tossed around, but the Democrat representing the Washington suburbs of Prince George’s County has yet to make a statement about running for Senate. Politico noted her “lower profile” outside of her district and her lackluster fundraising efforts thus far.
+ Rep. John Delaney. The Democrat who flummoxed party leadership when he beat anointed-one Rob Garagiola to represent Maryland’s newly gerrymandered sixth district, tweeted that he “will explore a race for Senate.”
+ Anthony Brown. The former lieutenant governor stated through his aides that he is “seriously considering a run.”
+ Daniel Bongino. The Republican who ran against Sen. Ben Cardin in 2012 has stated via Facebook that he is considering a run.
So far, pundits have been virtually unanimous in the opinion that despite Larry Hogan’s upset gubernatorial win, it’s highly unlikely that this Senate seat will turn red, citing particulars of the governor’s race (lack of excitement surrounding Democrat Anthony Brown, the effect on voter turnout of a midterm election, etc.) that won’t apply in 2016.
Or, as political scientist Kyle Kondik, put it:
Should be a swarm of MD Ds falling over each other to replace Mikulski. State prolly too D at prez level for Rs to compete. Safe D
— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) March 2, 2015
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