Birth of Son Sparks Candidate’s Run for Office

Bobby Bartlett, Democratic candidate for District 39 | SUBMITTED

The impending birth of a son prompted Bobby Bartlett to run for office, he said Wednesday.

The birth “forced me to take a hard look the kind of society my son would be coming into,” Bartlett said. “It wasn’t a pretty picture.”

Compounding his concerns was that the boy’s due date was Jan. 20, 2017, the day the country would get a new president after the ugly 2016 campaigns, he said.

“I had to get involved to try to make things right and to try to build the kind of world I wanted for my son,” said Bartlett, a 32-year-old Democrat from Germantown. “After hard thought and reflection, I thought I should accelerate this and get involved in the most direct way I knew how.”

The federal government, he said, is “in the hands of people I don’t like right now. The best way to make an impact would be to work.”

Bartlett filed his candidacy Monday to run in the District 39 House of Delegates primary election, on June 26, 2018. The district includes parts of Gaithersburg, as well as Germantown, Montgomery Village, Clarksburg and Washington Grove.

“I’m a big believer that the state is the laboratory of democracy. And I think there’s a great opportunity for Maryland to be at the forefront,” he said.

Bartlett now works as a marketing and digital media consultant, but most of his career had been in the business side of professional sports, including the Washington Spirit women’s professional soccer team, based in Boyds.

Bartlett said one of his main issues would be economic justice — “which amounts to fortifying the middle class.”

“We have reached a point as a society where you rack up enough debt to buy enough stuff so you can convince yourself you’re not poor,” Bartlett said.

He wants to bring back a robust safety net and robust worker protection, he said.

Bartlett said his other essential theme is fighting corruption in the State House. The 2017 was marked by an indictment against Sen. Nathaniel Oaks of Baltimore and the guilty plea of Del. William Campos of Prince George’s County. Del. Michael Vaughn, also of Prince George’s County, resigned from the House of Delegates before the session started in January; he was indicted in March.

During the session, Del. Dan Morhaim of Baltimore County was reprimanded for using his office to influence medical marijuana regulations without disclosing he was a paid consultant to a prospective dispensary.

Bartlett said he wants to author the “Maryland Anti-Corruption Act,” which would put in place efforts to clean things up in Annapolis. It would include a restrictions on lobbyists and more transparency.

“If there’s that much in the surface, the inside can’t be in good shape,” he said.

“The Democratic Party has to stand more for defeating Republicans,” he said. The people’s voice needs to be restored in government, he said.

“That’s something that has faded away over the decades. It’s more of an insider’s game,” Bartlett said.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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