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Republican and Democrat enter 2022 race to unseat Sarbanes in Maryland’s 3rd congressional district

Annapolis resident Antonio Pitocco, 25, has announced a bid for Congress in district 3 against Rep. John Sarbanes.
Annapolis resident Antonio Pitocco, 25, has announced a bid for Congress in district 3 against Rep. John Sarbanes. (Courtesy Photo)

A 25-year-old Annapolis conservative has announced he’ll run for Congress in 2022, hoping to unseat veteran Rep. John Sarbanes in the 3rd District.

Antonio Pitocco announced his Republican primary bid on Facebook, saying “It’s far past time that we bring trust, integrity, and forward-thinking leadership back to the United States Congress and the power of the Federal Government back to the American People – the way our Founding Fathers intended it to be.”

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He sees the campaign as an opportunity to “reject the radical mob.” If elected, he said Friday he would want to represent the entire district, not just Republicans.

He’d make sure to spend time in the community to understand the needs of his constituents, and would bring responsive legislation to the hill. He said a young person with no political experience has the opportunity to bring a new perspective to Washington.

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Sarbanes, a Democrat who has been in the seat since 2007, did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Maryland’s 3rd District has a population of nearly 800,000, split between Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery counties as well as part of Baltimore City. About 56% of the population is white, 23% is Black, and 9% are Hispanic and 7% are Asian. About half have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and the median household income is about $94,000 a year, according to Census records. It is also considered one of the most gerrymandered districts in the state.

Sarbanes won handily in 2020 with roughly 70% of the vote. His opponent, Charles Anthony, received 30%. The 2022 race is shaping up with a filing from Pitocco and a Democratic newcomer Malcolm Thomas Colombo.

The website listed for Colombo’s campaign does not appear to have been set up yet and he could not be reached Thursday afternoon.

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Pitocco attended Anne Arundel Community College from 2013 through 2015, and earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Salisbury University in 2017, according to his LinkedIn page. He said he served as president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity during his time at Salisbury.

He most recently served as a brand manager and sales associate for Nordstrom in Annapolis until July. In an interview with The Capital, Pitocco said he lost his job because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On his campaign website, Pitocco lists helping schools, cutting taxes, preserving the environment and supporting law enforcement among his top priorities. He said he’s too often seen politicians take their own interests to Washington, rather than those of their constituents. He would like to change that.

He’s expressed support for former President Donald Trump and former congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik on social media.

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