WASHINGTON -- Richard J. Douglas, a former Pentagon official who ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2012, said Monday he is exploring another bid for the job next year -- becoming the second Republican to consider a campaign for the open seat.
Douglas, a 58-year-old College Park resident, served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense under President George W. Bush and spent five years on Capitol Hill as a senior attorney to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee.
He lost his race for the GOP Senate nomination to Dan Bongino in 2012 by just under 9,000 votes.
"These times demand a mastery of Senate rules and the subject matter," Douglas, an Iraq veteran and attorney, said in a statement. "They require tenacity to overcome inertia and Senate unwillingness to assert itself in policies defining the nation. If the Senate fails we fail. I aim to prevent that."
Only one other Republican, Chrys Kefalas, is actively considering the race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. Kefalas, a vice president of communications as the National Association of Manufacturers, worked previously as an aide to former Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., and former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
Despite Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's win in 2014, the contest for Senate in Maryland will be an uphill battle for the GOP next year because Democratic turnout is expected to be higher during a presidential election. Two Democrats are running for Mikulski's seat: Reps. Chris Van Hollen of Montgomery County and Donna F. Edwards of Prince George's County.
Douglas stressed his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal unveiled by the Obama administration last week, said he would work with Hogan on the state's economy and said he would seek to overhaul safety net and urban aid programs.
Douglas has long been supported by John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton, a Baltimore native, has spoken at several fundraisers for Douglas.
"Now more than ever, the U.S. Senate needs individuals like Richard Douglas who understand the power of Congress in these dangerous times," Bolton said in a statement. "The Iran deal is dangerous for America, Israel, and our allies across the globe."