And then there were seven...
The cast of characters who make up the Democratic field in Maryland's U.S. Senate race grew again today. Josh Rales, a millionaire businessman from Montgomery County officially launched his bid at events in Montgomery County and Baltimore, telling his supporters he will not be a retred of the politicians people have seen year in and year out.
Rales joins Congressman Ben Cardin, former congressman and NAACP president Kweisi Mfume, former Baltimore County Executive Dennis Rasmussen, forensic psychiatrist Lise Van Susteren, American University professor Allan J. Lichtman and A. Robert Kaufman. Also considering a run, according to the Baltimore Sun, is Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens.
Rales, who switched parties to run, said he is not hiding from his past financial support of President George W. Bush and others. (Lichtman's campaign released Rales's history as a GOP donor yesterday).
"I'm just as frustrated as many other Democrats about the policies of George Bush," he said in an interview. "I voted for John Kerry. The [Republican] party's been hijacked by the religious right. There's no room for someone like me in the Republican party. I know it was a mistake and I'm going to be up front about it."
A review of Federal Election Commission reports indicate that Rales was contributing to Republican candidates as recently as the fall of 2003, when he gave $2,000 to President Bush's re-election campaign and $500 to Maryland Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, and early 2004, when he gave $500 to Republican Chuck Floyd who was running against Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen. More recenlty, Rales has given $6,000 to the Democratic State Central Committee, $2,000 to Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer and $1,000 to Democratic Rep. Al Wynn.
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