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Mayberry to challenge Rep. Bartlett

December 28, 1999|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Boonsboro resident Timothy R. Mayberry, who twice ran for Maryland comptroller, will challenge U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett in the March 7 Republican primary.

Mayberry, 43, was one of two candidates who beat the filing deadline on Monday. The other is Walter E. Carson, a Silver Spring resident who plans to move to Howard County and run for the Democratic nomination.

Mayberry, who serves as treasurer of the state GOP, said he was talked into challenging the four-term incumbent by Republican activists throughout the 6th congressional district.

He depicted Bartlett as an ineffective politician who has failed to defend local interests while the district's economy has lagged behind the rest of the nation.

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"We've kind of been left behind," he said.

Reached at home, Bartlett's wife, Ellen, said he would have no comment.

Mayberry said Bartlett was slow to react when the Pentagon decided to close Fort Ritchie in northeastern Washington County. A member of the House Armed Services Committee should have been able to prevent that blow to the region, he said.

Since its closing in September 1998, efforts to redevelop the base have stalled.

"It's a real mess, and he could have taken more action," Mayberry said. "It seems like whenever we have a problem here in the 6th district, Congress is all of a sudden concerned about big government."

Mayberry criticized Bartlett's sparse legislative record and said he does not take consistent stands on controversial legislation.

"I think when it comes to tough issues, he votes both side of the issue," he said.

Mayberry said he would stand firm against funding the National Endowment of the Arts and any program that funds abortions in foreign countries.

Mayberry, a former bank vice president, does consulting work for banks, fixing their loan portfolios. He made a respectable showing in his 1994 race against popular Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein and lost a GOP primary for comptroller by eight votes a year ago.

He said he has been shocked by early indications of how easy it will be to raise funds for the campaign and said he is not intimidated by Bartlett's $400,000 war chest.

"I typically do not need a ton of money," he said. "He's got as good name recognition as he's going to get. I don't really see what his money is going to buy him."

Mayberry said he thinks his experience running two statewide races and his demonstrated ability to get votes in Western Maryland give him an edge. He said polling he has done indicates Bartlett has only a slim lead.

"I expect to win," he said. "I'm not running a race to send Congressman Bartlett a message."

Carol Arscott of Gonzales-Arscott Research and Communications Inc., a political polling and consulting firm based in Anne Arundel County, Md., said Mayberry "is a relatively well-known Republican because he runs for office so much."

"But making the case to take out a popular incumbent member of Congress from your own party is going to be tough for him," she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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