State Sen. Nancy Jacobs said Tuesday she will announce her candidacy for the 2nd Congressional District this week, making her the latest state lawmaker to jump into a House race for the 2012 election.
Jacobs, who stepped down as Republican Senate leader in Annapolis this past fall to explore running for higher office, said she decided she could be most effective in Congress. The 2nd District is currently held by Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat and former Baltimore County executive.
"A lot of people that I've been speaking with feel that once Dutch left Baltimore County and went to Washington he became Washington," said Jacobs, who is 60. "I think they have the confidence in me that I would never turn into Washington because, quite frankly, I've never turned into Annapolis."
Jacobs became the Senate's first female GOP leader last year. In the Senate, she focused on criminal justice legislation, including measures to address gang violence and impose higher minimum penalties for sexual offenses against children.
"The biggest pieces of my legislation – the things I've worked the hardest on -- are bipartisan issues," she said.
Republican Larry Smith, a former aide to Rep. Andy Harris, has already announced that he will seek the GOP nomination. Whoever wins the April primary will face five-term Ruppersberger in a district that became slightly more friendly to Democrats in last year's redistricting. Ruppersberger won with 64 percent of the vote in 2010.
Jacobs will formally enter the race on Thursday.
Other state lawmakers running for Congress include Democrat State Sen. Rob Garagiola, who is looking to unseat Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett in Maryland's 6th District and Del. Anthony O'Donnell, the Republican leader in the House of Delegates, who will take on Democrat Rep. Steny Hoyer.