Chrys Kefalas, the first to express interest in the race and the most aggressive campaigner so far, made it official today: he‚Äôs running for the GOP nomination for the US Senate.
After months of fundraising and campaigning for the job, a former aide to Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. announced late Tuesday that he will seek the GOP nomination for Senate in Maryland.
Chrys Kefalas, an openly gay Republican who also worked in the Obama administration, pointed to Gov. Larry Hogan‚Äôs success in last year‚Äôs gubernatorial election as evidence that the GOP can win statewide elections in Maryland despite the Democrats‚Äô 2-1 advantage in voter registration.
“Marylanders want someone who comes from the outside, who will solve problems … and who focuses on the issues that people care about,” Kefalas, 36, said in an interview.
Kefalas, who announced his decision to run on Fox News, joins a field for the GOP nomination that includes Del. Kathy Szeliga, the minority whip in the House of Delegates; Richard J. Douglas, a former Pentagon official and Senate candidate; and Navy veteran Anthony Seda.
He‚Äôs got interesting views for a Republican. Which probably means he has no chance.
Kefalas could have some advantages, particularly in a Maryland general election. In addition to his work for Holder, a Democrat, he has advocated for same-sex marriage and has said he supports the decriminalization of marijuana. Arguing that it is time to end the war on drugs, he said he is open to looking at also decriminalizing heroin.
Those messages could appeal to independents and some state Democrats.
But Kefalas might also face some disadvantages in the April 26 primary.
A recent poll for The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore showed Szeliga leading Kefalas by a margin of nearly 3-1, even though Kefalas was the first to express interest and has been among the most aggressive campaigners in the GOP field.
The poll showed that nearly 60 percent of Republicans are undecided.
Kefalas has yet to raise the kind of cash needed to mount a credible statewide campaign. He raised just under $75,000 from July through the end of September, his second quarter of fundraising. Filings with the Federal Election Commission show he had about $92,000 on hand.