Republican Kefalas exploring Senate run

WASHINGTON -- A former aide to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and speechwriter for Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. created a federal campaign account Monday to explore running for Maryland's open U.S. Senate seat.

Chrys Kefalas, a 35-year-old Parkville resident, is one of only a handful of Republicans expressing an interest in a contest that to date has been largely defined by the race for the Democratic nomination. Other possible GOP candidates include Rep. Andy Harris of Baltimore County and former Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele.

"We need a new direction in Washington and new leadership because the career politicians who have created barriers to opportunity cannot possibly renew the American Dream,” said Kefalas, whho would be making his first run for office if he enters the race.

Kefalas, by creating a campaign finance committee, is not committing to run for the seat that will be left open in 2017 by retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. The statewide contest will be an uphill climb for any Republican, particularly if, as expected, turnout is higher because of next year's presidential contest.

Kefalas works for the National Association of Manufacturers in Washington. He previously served as a speechwriter and aide to Holder, a trial and appellate attorney at the Department of Justice, a business lawyer and deputy legal counsel to Ehrlich.

So far two Democrats are running: Reps. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County and Donna F. Edwards of Prince George's County.

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