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The Republican who made an unsuccessful attempt to unseat U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D) in 2012 has set his sights on the 6th District congressional seat now held by Rep. John Delaney (D).

Former Secret Service agent Daniel Bongino formally announced his candidacy to a crowd of about 100 in Frederick last week, pledging to fight against “a class of politicians and bureaucrats that are treating your wallet like an expense account.”

Bongino attacked Democrats for backing failed education and job creation policies. “Higher taxes and bigger government are not the solution,” he said.

The 6th District seat was held by U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett (R) for 20 years before the district’s boundaries were changed to include a large portion of Montgomery County. Delaney defeated Bartlett by more than 20 percentage points in 2012.

Bongino also said that “Obamacare” — the Affordable Care Act — needed to be repealed, which drew a round of applause from the crowd.

Bongino and his family live in Severna Park in Anne Arundel County, meaning neither he nor Delaney, who lives in Potomac, actually live within the 6th District, which includes areas of central and western Montgomery County, portions of southern and central Frederick County, and all of Washington, Allegany and Garrett counties.

Bongino, who also explored a run for governor, said he’s considering moving into the district.

Harford County Executive David Craig (R), who recently announced his candidacy for governor and was present at Bongino’s event Tuesday, said Bongino was a good fit for Congress because he was particularly passionate about federal issues.

Craig also said incumbents like Delaney were vulnerable after one term, such as when U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil (D) was ousted from his 1st District seat after a single term by current U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R) in 2010.

“Dan has the potential to be very solid in four of the counties, then spend [time working] in Montgomery County and pick it up,” Craig said.

Bongino said his campaign still had a strong volunteer network in Montgomery County, and that he would spend a lot of time there because it made up “a significant portion of the electorate in [District] 6.”

In his 2012 Senate bid, Bongino won 21.2 percent of the vote in Montgomery County to Cardin’s 66.2 percent, but carried the other three counties in the 6th District.

In the congressional race, Delaney won 68.5 percent of the Montgomery vote while Bartlett took 28.8 percent. Delaney also carried Frederick and Washington counties, while Bartlett took Garrett and Allegany counties.

dleaderman@gazette.net