First salvo in 6th District race fired then withdrawn on Twitter

May 08, 2012|By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, the Republican incumbent fighting to keep his seat in Maryland's 6th District, fired what could be considered the first line of attack against his Democratic opponent in the general election race, criticizing John Delaney in a tweet.

But hours later, the Bartlett campaign deleted the Twitter post without explanation.

On Monday evening, Bartlett's campaign retweeted a comment about Delaney's stances on energy. The item stated that Maryland "gets 51% [of its] energy from coal." Delaney, a Potomac banker, "wants a [carbon tax] that hurts the poor. No to natural gas, no to Keystone," the tweet read in reference to the controversial oil pipeline.

Delaney does support a carbon tax, an idea that has failed to gain traction in Washington, but he has been more supportive of natural gas mining in Western Maryland than many other Democrats. At a candidate forum in March he said he supports hydrofracking in the state, according to a story in The Herald-Mail.

Bartlett's campaign pulled the comment hours later. A campaign spokesman did not respond to an e-mail seeking information on why the item was deleted.

The district is Maryland's marquee race this year after a redistricting left the Sixth far more friendly to Democrats.

"John knows Rep. Bartlett is a good person and we are hopeful that this race will be about the issues and focus on the facts," Delaney campaign manager Justin Schall said in a statement.

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