Sarbanes Joining With Political Reform Groups to Oust GOP Colleague

    U.S. Rep. John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.) is the lead sponsor of a sweeping political reform bill that passed the House last year but remains stalled in the Senate.

    Among other things, the legislation aims to expand the reach of the Voting Rights Act, strengthen ethics laws for public officials, limit the influence of money in politics, and make voting easier and more accessible.

    Now Sarbanes is teaming with two political reform groups to try to oust one of his Republican colleagues.

    Democratic congressional challenger Tedra Cobb

    Tedra Cobb, the Democratic nominee in an Upstate New York congressional district, announced last week that Sarbanes would be the featured speaker at a Zoom fundraiser on July 28 for her campaign to oust Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik. The event is being hosted by two political reform groups, End Citizens United and Let America Vote.

    It’s a rematch of the 2018 election, when Stefanik defeated Cobb, 56.1% to 42.4%.

    Cobb could certainly use the financial help: She reported a very respectable $2,699,434 on hand as of June 30. But Stefanik, considered a moderate Republican who angrily condemned the House impeachment of President Trump, has been a fundraising machine, banking $4,466,452.

    Those are fundraising numbers seldom seen in Sarbanes’ congressional district.

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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.