WASHINGTON, D.C.—Maryland Republican Party Chairman Alex X. Mooney was working for U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett even though he filed with the Federal Election Commission declaring his intention to run for Bartlett’s 6th District congressional seat in 2014.
The Washington Post reported that Mooney dropped his candidacy after the newspaper contacted Bartlett’s office.
House ethics rules say an aide can’t run to succeed his or her boss and remain on the congressional payroll, the newspaper reported.
Bartlett spokeswoman Lisa Wright on Friday emailed a letter from Mooney to the Federal Election Commission dated Thursday in which he wrote: “This letter serves as notice that, effective immediately, I am no longer associated with Mooney for Congress ... As such I am no longer a candidate for office in Maryland’s 6th congressional district.”
Payroll records show Mooney has been on Bartlett’s staff since June, The Associated Press reported Friday. In March, he filed a statement of candidacy for 2014 with the Federal Election Commission, the AP reported.
Attempts to contact Mooney at Bartlett’s Washington and district offices Friday were unsuccessful.
Mooney, a former Republican state senator who represented Maryland’s 3rd District, which includes parts of Washington and Frederick counties, had previous plans to run for Bartlett’s seat. But he announced in January that he was calling off his exploratory campaign and throwing his support behind Bartlett, The Herald-Mail reported at the time.
At that time, his campaign had raised more than $100,000, The Herald-Mail reported.
Bartlett, a 10-term Republican, is seeking re-election in November.
Bartlett’s office told The Washington Post that Mooney’s statement of candidacy was a “clerical error.”
“The FEC (Federal Election Commission) form was the clerical error,” Wright said Friday. “The filing did not clarify his status ... as a non-cadidate.”
A Mooney for Congress committee was formed in December 2011, according to FEC records. Mooney also filed a statement of candidacy that month that indicated he designated Mooney for Congress as his principal campaign committee for the 2012 election, FEC records said. That was almost two months after he announced he was not running in the 2012 GOP House primary.
Wright said Mooney has had “no activities as a candidate” while working for Bartlett.
On March 5, Mooney filed another statement of candidacy designating the committee as his principal campaign committee for the 2014 election, according to FEC records.
Wright said Mooney would remain on the congressman’s staff as an outreach director.
The Maryland Democratic Party said Mooney should return the money he earned as a Bartlett aide since June.