UPDATE: Rosen Withdraws From 1st District House Race
With Democrat Wendy Rosen out of the race, it is unknown who will oppose Republican Rep. Andy Harris in November.
UPDATE (3:36 p.m.)—Maryland's Democratic party said Monday that its 1st district Congressional candidate is out of the race following allegations of voter fraud. The area is currently represented by Republican Rep. Andy Harris, who ran in the primary race unopposed.
In a statement sent to The Washington Post, Cockeysville resident Wendy Rosen announced her withdrawal from the race. The state party announced Rosen, who narrowly beat Chestertown resident John LaFerla in this April's primary, may have violated election law as far back as 2006.
In a letter to Attorney General Doug Gansler and State Prosecutor Emmitt Davitt, state chair Yvette Lewis wrote the party found Rosen had been registered to vote in Florida and Maryland "since at least 2006." The party found she had voted in the 2006 general election and 2008 primary in both states.
"We believe that this is a clear violation of Maryland law and urge the appropriate office to conduct a full investigation," Lewis wrote.
Lewis wrote that the party "has asked Ms. Rosen to withdraw her candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives."
In an email obtained by DelmarvaNow.com, Rosen wrote to Lewis:
“Personal issues have made this the hardest decision that I have had to make. ... The 1st Congressional District deserves a representative that champions their interests, votes for, not against job creation and builds a sustainable economy for agriculture, tourism and small businesses on ever main street from Pocomoke to Taneytown.”
Rosen could not be reached for comment.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, released a brief statement praising the Maryland Democratic Party's "swift and decisive action" after discovering Rosen's registration issues.
"The action taken today by the Maryland Democratic Party sends a clear message to Marylanders—we will not tolerate any violation of election laws," he said in the statement.
In a post on its blog, the state party said that under state law, the party will designate an alternate nominee, following a vote by the 1st district Democratic central committee.
However, it's unclear if they'll be able to do that.
Jared DeMarinis, director of candidacy and campaign finance at the Maryland Board of Elections, said the deadline for a candidate to remove his or her name from the ballot was Aug. 28.
"Right now, we have yet to receive any paperwork as to the withdrawal" of Rosen, DeMarinis said, adding that ballots for the election have already been certified. "For our purposes, she is a candidate in the 1st congressional district."
Whoever is ultimately the Democratic nominee will face Harris, who holds a significant lead in organization and fundraising.
Former Democratic congressman Frank Michael Kratovil Jr. had been considered a viable opponent to Harris in the 2012 election. Kratovil defeated Harris, then a state senator, to serve as a representative between 2009 and 2010. Harris defeated Kratovil in the 2010 election.
Kratovil, however, announced in November that he would not be seeking reelection and was appointed in December to the District Court for Queen Anne’s County.
The 1st district was officially redrawn in October 2011, including the entire Eastern Shore of Maryland, as well as parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford counties. Pundits agreed that the new boundaries favored a Republican candidate.
Perry Hall Patch Editor Emily Kimball contributed to this report.