Is Sen. Salling Running for Congress?

    Is state Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-Baltimore County) planning to challenge U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) next year?

    If Twitter is to be believed, it certainly appears that way.

    Salling, who was elected to his second term in 2018, tweeted his admiration for President Trump on Tuesday and suggested he would like to come to Washington, D.C., to fight by Trump’s side.

    “Thank you for all that you are doing Mr. President!” the tweet began. “I am Senator Johnny Ray Salling. I am now running for Congress in Maryland against Dutch Ruppersberger. Praying that I have the opportunity to work with you! God bless you and God bless America!”

    Salling did not appear to make any other public pronouncement about his plans. He could not be reached for comment late Tuesday night, and hadn’t filed any paperwork to become a congressional candidate with the Maryland State Board of Elections or the Federal Elections Commission.

    State lawmakers in Maryland tend to make congressional bids in presidential election years because they don’t have to sacrifice their seats to do so.

    While Ruppersberger’s 2nd congressional district has strong pockets of support for Trump — especially in some of the precincts Salling represents in Annapolis — it is a Democratic district overall, and Ruppersberger, an eight term incumbent, could be formidable. Through June 30, the incumbent had a robust $984,000 in his campaign kitty.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.