WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Democrat Wendy Rosen Withdraws From House Race

Efforts to unseat a Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) may be all but over because Democratic challenger Wendy Rosen suddenly dropped out Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Harris is finishing his first term representing Maryland's Eastern Shore in Congress and is seen as a prime target for Democrats. But Democratic party officials have hit a snag in their challenge to the seat, after learning Rosen, a businesswoman, voted in two different elections both in Maryland and in Florida — where she owns property.

Rosen has been registered in both states since at least 2006, the AP reports. Democrats asked her to withdraw from the race Monday.

But it's too late to take Rosen off the ballot, which poses a problem for the party, says Jared DeMarinis, director of the Maryland Board of Elections Candidacy and Campaign Finance Unit. If she had withdrawn just a couple of weeks ago — at least 70 days before the election — Democratic party officials could've picked a replacement candidate.

Party spokesman Matthew Verghese praised Democrats for setting a high bar for candidates, adding the party did the right thing to urge Rosen to step down. Now they're looking for some way to substitute another candidate, even a write-in candidate, for November.

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