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Harford's Impallaria, Jacobs butt heads for GOP Congress nod

The race for Harford County's two congressional seats, in Districts 1 and 2, took some interesting turns as the filing deadline passed Wednesday night, particularly as it pertains to the Republican nomination in District 2.

Del. Rick Impallaria, who has served in the Maryland General Assembly since 2003, filed Wednesday in the Republican primary, where he'll face fellow Harford legislator Sen. Nancy Jacobs, among others.

"Actually, I had been considering it for quite a while, and when [Del.] Pat McDonough said he would like to run, I decided to give him that opportunity to explore that," Impallaria said Thursday. McDonough said last week he wouldn't run.

"Many people approached me and I finally decided yesterday that I had enough input and enough support," he said.

Impallaria said he wants to unseat incumbent Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat, because most people in his district do not agree with Ruppersberger's views.

Impallaria noted he was originally chairman of Citizens For Property Rights and collected enough signatures to oppose an initiative by Ruppersberger that Impallaria said would have condemned property rights in Baltimore County. At the time, Ruppersberger was Baltimore County executive. He went to Congress in 2003, the same year Impallaria went to Annapolis.

"Ever since then, Dutch – I think he's a nice person, but, politically, I don't agree with his views," Impallaria said.

Impallaria, a Joppa resident, said Ruppersberger has supported illegal immigration and "watched the jobs going away" in Baltimore.

"He's done a lot of things that has damaged not only the country but has damaged his own constituency, his own district," he said.

"I just believe that at this point in time, I am what the public is looking for. They are not looking for an entrenched politician. They are looking for someone who will buck the system and say what needs to be said," he said.

Impallaria said he has clear answers on energy, jobs, national defense and the ability to criticize not only the party that is in power but also the Republican party.

"I believe I am what the country needs and what the citizens of Maryland who live in the second Congressional district [need]," he said. "I want to be a candidate that makes a true difference, not a token difference."

Impallaria dismissed Jacobs as a competitor. She filed last week.

"I believe she is more the establishment candidate and she's not as quick to take a position," he said, adding she has flip-flopped on some issues.

The other Republican candidates in the district are Vladmir Degen, of Riesterstown; Howard Orton, of Brooklyn; and Larry Smith, of Timonium. Ruppersberger is the only Democrat in the race, and thus won't have a primary contest..

In the first Congressional district, which includes the northern two-thirds of Harford, incumbent Rep. Andy Harris, elected two years ago, faces no Republican primary opposition. Three Democrats filed for the seat, John LaFerla, of Chestertown; Kim Letke, of White Marsh; and Wendy Rosen of Cockeysville.

Following redistricting last fall, no part of Harford is in the Sixth District.

This story has been corrected from an earlier version.

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