The two candidates from Harford County for the Second Congressional District are continuing to campaign, while they also try to fulfill their duties at state legislators.
One of them, Del. Rick Impallaria, only formally announced his campaign last Thursday during a press conference in Annapolis, although he did file for the seat much earlier. Impallaria and Harford State Sen. Nancy Jacobs are in a four-way race for the Republican nomination that will be decided in the April 3 primary election.
Both say they believe they are the one candidate who can take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat, and defeat him in November. Ruppersberger, a member of Congress since 2003, does not have a primary opponent.
The other GOP candidates are Larry Smith, Howard Orton, Vlad Degan and Ray Bly, none of whom has ties to Harford County.
Smith has been pressuring the other candidates to do debates, but other than that, the race seems relatively quiet for now.
"I am just talking about the issues that this elections is really going to be about, voting records and how people have voted on certain issues," Impallaria said late last week. "I am running as a conservative person, and we have everything in place to move forward to this campaign."
Impallaria said he has been doing "the old-fashioned door-to-door" campaigning, "no robo calls," and said he has talked to more than 4,000 voters.
"The biggest issue is going to be who is going to have the wherewithal to go forward and run a serious campaign," he said. "I am up to it and I am used to it... I believe out of the candidates, I am the one who is going to go after Dutch the hardest and get into his voting record."
Jacobs likewise said last Thursday that Ruppersberger's plans like the voter-rejected attempt to give himself eminent domain to redevelop parts of the Baltimore County in 2000 are still distancing voters. At the, Ruppersberger was serving as the Baltimore County executive.
"A lot of people are really disenfranchised with Ruppersberger," she said. "I was the only senator to stand up on the floor and fight [the eminent domain plan]."
"I feel confident," Jacobs said, adding she has the endorsement of "any Republican who is anybody."
"The leadership of the Republican party is really pulling for me," she said.
Jacobs said she just launched her campaign headquarters on Route 7 in Rosedale, and now has plenty of full-time staff members, including employees to handle public affairs and social media.
"We have hundreds of people who have already volunteered, whether to go door to door or manning the polls," she said.
Most of the voters in the Second District reside in either southern Harford County or in eastern and north central Baltimore County. The district also takes in parts of northern Anne Arundel and northern Howard counties.
Ruppersberger has had little difficulty in winning his previous five terms in a district that has a heavy Democratic registration majority.
Most of central and northern Harford County is represented in the First Congressional District, which also covers the Eastern Shore counties.
Incumbent U.S. Rep. Andy Harris is the only Republican in the race. One other candidate, Marc Cohen of Stevensville, is running unaffiliated, which means he will only compete in the general election.
The Democratic candidates who are competing include John LaFerla from Chestertown, Kim Letke from Joppa and Wendy Rosen from Cockeysville.