A familiar face is back in the race to represent Maryland’s 6th District in Congress.
Amie Hoeber, of Potomac, formally announced her campaign for the Republican nomination on Tuesday.
Hoeber challenged incumbent Rep. John Delaney (D) for the seat in 2016, garnering 40 percent of the general election vote as a first-time candidate.
On Tuesday, Hoeber said she’s been working for months to prepare for 2018.
“I honestly think I never stopped running,” Hoeber said. “Even after the end of the election cycle last time, I’ve still been out in the district. I’ve still met people. I’ve still tried to help people. ... I never really left.”
Hoeber said her campaign platform will focus on creating and retaining jobs in the 6th District, running effective schools, fighting crime and gangs, and improving transportation.
But Hoeber said the most serious issue facing the district is heroin and opioid addiction.
In addition to supporting treatment programs and state-level efforts, Hoeber said Congress also needs to tackle the epidemic “at the source.”
“We need to tackle it with big pharma. We need to tackle it with the doctors who overprescribe because it’s easy. ... Altogether we need to tackle it from a number of angles,” Hoeber said.
Invoking the work of her husband, Mark Epstein, a senior executive at Qualcomm, Hoeber also said expanding broadband internet access in the state is a priority.
During the 2016 race, Epstein was the primary donor to the Maryland USA Super PAC, which spent more than $3.1 million to support Hoeber’s candidacy. Delaney filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging illegal coordination by Hoeber’s campaign, Epstein, and the PAC. The FEC has not issued an opinion in the case.
Hoeber was introduced at Tuesday's campaign kickoff event by Delegate David E. Vogt III, R-District 4. Vogt also sought the Republican nomination in the 2016 congressional race, but has since developed a strong friendship with Hoeber.
Vogt said the 6th District race and the 2018 governor’s race are critically important to the district, which he said is gerrymandered to benefit Democrats.
If Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is re-elected, he will preside over the decennial re-drawing of congressional district maps based on new census figures.
“This election cycle is when we take [the 6th] back. And we do it by winning those two races together,” Vogt said. “Because with those, we allow the governor to redraw these lines. So once Amie takes it back this cycle, we never give it up again.”
With Delaney announcing his candidacy for president in July, the 2018 race is wide open, with a raft of Republicans and Democrats eyeing the seat.
Earlier this year, the National Republican Congressional Committee named Delaney’s seat as one of 32 across the country the party is trying to flip from Democrats. Hoeber’s 2016 campaign was backed by the committee.
Three other Republican candidates have registered with the Maryland State Board of Elections: former state Delegate Matt Mossburg, who lives in Frederick; Potomac resident Lisa Lloyd; and Bradley Bohrs, who lists a Germantown address for his campaign on the state website.
Five Democrats have filed campaign committees with the Federal Election Commission: Andrew Duck, Dr. Nadia Hashimi, State Sen. Roger Manno, Delegate Aruna Miller and David Trone.
Hoeber, Trone and Manno live outside of the 6th District, in the neighboring 8th. Under the U.S. Constitution, members of Congress must live in the state they represent, but not in the district.
The 2018 primary election is on June 26, 2018, and the general election is on Nov. 6, 2018.
The 6th District stretches from Montgomery County to the state’s western panhandle and includes the city of Frederick.
Members of Congress serve two-year terms and are paid $174,000 a year.