Republican Amie Hoeber said Tuesday that her campaign for the 6th District Congressional seat never stopped after she lost last November to Democratic incumbent Rep. John Delaney.
She said she kept meeting with voters, connecting with business leaders and touring the district, which stretches north from Potomac in Montgomery County, through Frederick County, and includes the Western Maryland panhandle.
Now that Delaney has opted to run for president, Hoeber has decided to run for his seat again.
At Normandie Farm Restaurant in Potomac Tuesday afternoon, she formally launched her second bid for the congressional seat.
“I am willing and able to work across all lines to get things done,” Hoeber said. “I was known in the Pentagon, in my Pentagon job, as a decision maker and someone who could make things happen. I intend to maintain that reputation.”
Hoeber formally served as deputy undersecretary of the Army during the Ronald Reagan administration and worked to dismantle the U.S. chemical arsenal in her role.
She said that in Congress, she would work to fight the spread of the MS-13 gang, find solutions to the opioid crisis and lead efforts to bring broadband internet to rural parts of the 6th District.
“I’ve ridden along with police on their tours to see how the world looks from their point of view, I’ve walked the streets and talked to business owners and homeless individuals and I think I can bring something to this district that no one else can,” Hoeber said.
Hoeber, who had 40 percent of the vote for the seat in the 2016 general election, will face off against Republicans Matt Mossburg, a former state delegate, and political newcomers Lisa Lloyd of Potomac and Bradley Rohrs of Germantown in the primary.
Democratic candidates for the seat include Total Wine & More co-owner David Trone, state Sen. Roger Manno (D-Silver Spring), Del. Aruna Miller (D-Darnestown) and Frederick County veteran Andrew Duck.
Last year, Hoeber fended off seven Republican candidates to win the primary and later received the endorsement of Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election. Her campaign received significant financial support from her husband, Mark Epstein, an executive at the telecommunications firm Qualcomm.
Epstein founded a SuperPAC, Maryland USA, that spent more than $3 million supporting Hoeber’s campaign. Hoeber also self-funded more than $500,000 of her 2016 campaign.
Hoeber said she doesn’t believe Epstein will fund a SuperPAC in this election.
“We haven’t even thought about that,” Hoeber said Tuesday, while standing next to Epstein. “Probably not. The reasons why we put the SuperPAC in place last time was primarily because we needed to have some professionals. We were not cognizant of everything that needed to be done and this was sort of the only way to hire some [campaign] professionals. Now I think we know a lot more and don’t need quite the same sort of help.”
SuperPACs are not allowed to coordinate with candidates they support.
She said she didn’t know if Hogan will endorse her in the race, but hoped he would “at the appropriate time.”
She had choice words for two Democrats in the race—Trone and Manno.
“He threw $13 million at his race in District 8 [in 2016] and lost,” Hoeber said in response to a question about fundraising against Trone, who spent $13.4 million in the Democratic primary for the 8th District seat last year. “My reaction to Trone is that he’s a carpetbagger. I think his spending money is good for the economy and I’m not worried.”
Alex Koren, a spokesman for Trone’s campaign, responded that Trone’s record of not taking any money from PACs and lobbyists is better than Hoeber’s record of possibly illegally coordinating with a SuperPAC.
Delaney filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission last September alleging that the Maryland USA PAC “illegally coordinated” its activities with Hoeber’s campaign. The FEC has yet to issue a ruling on the complaint.
On Manno, Hoeber said, “I’ve enjoyed watching Roger Manno collect endorsements from the unions. I’m not sure District 6 is that much of a union district.”
Manno responded later, “I’m fighting to make sure people have access to good jobs [and] good health care regardless of whether they grew up rich or poor. That’s what unions are all about and those who are supporting me know that I’ll deliver.”
The race is in a district where Republicans could pick up a seat. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 212,000 to 151,000, but there are also 103,000 unaffiliated voters in the district—the most in any district in the state.
Del. David Vogt III, a Frederick County Republican who lost to Hoeber in the primary last year, introduced her on Tuesday and backed her in the current race. He noted the importance of the contest to Republicans.
“What matters most are two races,” Vogt said. “The re-election of Gov. Larry Hogan and the other is taking back a district for Republicans … in the Sixth Congressional District and putting Amie Hoeber on the Hill.”
Of the eight Congressional and two U.S. Senate seats in Maryland, Democrats control nine of them. Rep. Andy Harris in District 1 is the lone Republican. All 10 representatives and senators are men.
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