James Calderwood

There could soon be a Republican in the race for the predominantly Democratic 8th District.

James Calderwood, a Chevy Chase Village resident who is an attorney with a Washington D.C. firm, confirmed Monday he is “seriously looking at running.” He is expected to make a decision by mid-October.

Calderwood, 73, was recently named by Gov. Larry Hogan as chair of the Maryland Transportation Commission, which serves in an advisory capacity to the governor. Prior to that, he was a member of Montgomery County’s Friendship Heights Transportation Advisory Committee. He is also a past president of the University of Maryland Alumni Association and a founding director of the Maryland Public Policy Institute, several of whose members have played active roles in the new Hogan administration. The institute, based in Rockville, promotes public policy “based on principles of free enterprise, limited government, and civil society,” according to its website.

Laytonsville businessman Frank Howard, who ran for a state Senate seat last year, had been considering seeking the GOP nomination in District 8. But Howard decided recently to run instead in neighboring District 6, where a half-dozen Republicans are eyeing the seat to which Democratic incumbent John Delaney narrowly won re-election in 2014.

While national Republicans appear ready to funnel substantial funds into the 2016 general election campaign in District 6, which includes several GOP-dominated counties in western Maryland as well as a sizeable portion of Montgomery County, it remains uncertain whether the national party will also invest resources in District 8. However, sources said Calderwood, if he decides to run, is prepared to devote significant personal funds to the race, although he is not in a position to self-finance a general election campaign.