Maryland Democrats Official Endorse Write-in Candidate for U.S. House, First District

On September 17, Maryland Democrats formally endorsed John J. LaFerla for U.S. House, First District. On September 20, he filed as a declared write-in. The Democratic nominee whose name is printed on the ballot, Wendy Rosen, tried to withdraw from the race after it was revealed that she had voted in both Florida and Maryland during 2006 and also in the 2008 primaries. However, she was too late to remove her name from the ballot.

Therefore, the ballot will show the names of the Republican nominee (incumbent Andy Harris), the Democratic nominee who is no longer campaigning, and the Libertarian nominee, Muir Boda; and there will be a strong write-in candidate. LaFerla had lost the Democratic primary this year for the First District seat by a vote of 10,907 to Rosen and 10,850 for LaFerla.

This incident shows that Maryland is wise not to ban “sore losers” from at least being write-in candidates in the general election. Thanks to Doug McNiel for the news. If this had happened in California, with the same timing, Democratic voters would have been effectively disenfranchised, since California’s top-two system eliminated write-in space on the November ballot for Congress and partisan state office.


  1. Interesting. Great point about CA’s top two. Do you think this will this split the Dem vote in this district, or will the Dem nominee or endorsement still win?

    Also, does Wayne Boda have a chance to poll fairly well?

  2. This district has actually been made even more solidly Republican (since 1990, it’s been held by Republicans with the exception of Frank Kratovil from 2008-2010) by the recent redistricting: it includes the former eastern end of the 6th District, including northern Baltimore and most of central Carroll. Even if LaFerla were the only Dem candidate on the ballot, it is still very unlikely that the Dems would pull of a win.

    Libertarians historically do well in this district- in 2008 Richard Davis polled near 2.5%, in 2010, he managed to get over 10,000 votes. (close to 4%) With the addition of more conservative Baltimore suburbs, I think that there’s a pretty good chance of a strong showing.

  3. @2 thanks for the info Colin!

  4. Doug McNeil · · Reply

    Small correction — that would be Muir Boda who is the Libertarian Party’s nominee. I just had a communication from him, and he tells me that he’s just put in another order for 500 more lawn signs, in order to to increase his name recognition. And the LP is strongly behind him — this is a very unusual situation.

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