Maryland House Majority Leader C. William "Bill" Frick is raising money to run for Congress in 2018, anticipating fellow Democrat Rep. John Delaney may vacate one of the state's most competitive seats.
Frick said Monday that Republicans were eyeing the 6th Congressional District to flip back into their column, and that Democrats need to be ready to defend it if Delaney chooses to run for governor instead. Delaney said last week he'll make formal announcement about the governor's race in June.
"It is critical Democrats field a strong candidate in 2018," Frick said.
"In the event that Rep. Delaney chooses to take on Larry Hogan, I am preparing to be that strong Democratic candidate that can succeed him and hold the line against Trump and the radical Republican agenda."
Frick, a lawyer and Montgomery County Democrat, filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission on Friday to begin raising money for the race. He has not filed to be on the ballot yet. That decision would force him to give up the House of Delegates seat he has held sinced 2007.
Maryland's 6th district is based in Western Maryland and stretches into the D.C. suburbs and Montgomery County. In recent years, it has been one of the state's most competitive districts.
In 2012, Delaney ended the 20-year tenure of Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett after Democrats in Annapolis redrew the 6th to favor Democrats. In 2014, Delaney won relection by a thin margin of less than 2,800 votes, though last year he handidly fended off a well-financed Republican challenger, Amie Hoeber.