Del. Donna Stifler, a Republican representing northern Harford County, announced Wednesday that she is exploring the possibility of running for the state senate – provided the current state senator representing the district decides to vacate the office.
Stifler, who was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2006 when she surprisingly supplanted longtime delegate Joanne Parrott, represents District 35A and will be asking her constituents for advice on whether to run for higher office, but any decision she makes depends on the political future of Sen. Barry Glassman, the current representative of District 35.
“I’m going to put a committee together to explore a run for Senate. As you know, it will be a somewhat new district for me. We’ll put together a fundraising goal and look at how to, and if we can, reach it,” Stifler said Wednesday morning, just after announcing to those gathered at her breakfast fundraiser that she would be forming the exploration committee.
Stifler, who prides herself working hard to communicate with her constituents, said many of those she represents have asked her to run for the higher office. With the June 24, 2014 Gubernatorial Primary Election more than two years away, Stifler said it was the urging of those constituents – and a few politicos – over the last few months that prompted her decision. But don’t expect Stifler to make her mind up anytime soon.
“I won’t be making any decisions either way until at least next year. But my feelers are out and I am praying for wisdom on the matter. I have my family’s support, which was the first and most important discussion I made,” Stifler said.
Aside from satisfying the nudging of her supporters, Stifler said her main interest in seeking higher office would be to bring her successful history of conservative legislating to the state senate.
“I am excited to be another conservative woman in the Senate, where they are severely lacking. I’ve been successful in the House at passing legislation, despite being in the minority, and I truly look forward to possibly working more closely with my Senate colleagues,” she added.
“The bottom line is this: If my constituents want me in the Senate, then I’ll go. If I feel that they’d rather me stay where I am, then I’ll stay. I’ll spend the next year asking as many of them as I can for their answer,” Stifler said.
There’s one significant impediment, however, potentially preventing Stifler from running for state senate, should that ultimately be her choice – the seat is currently and comfortably occupied by Sen. Glassman, Stifler’s friend and Republican colleague.
It’s been a not-so-well-kept secret over the last few years that Glassman may seek another elected office. While Glassman won’t address those rumors, Stifler said that Glassman’s decision to stay or depart from his senate office would be a deciding factor in her “exploration” process.
As far as she is concerned, Stifler said there is no chance she would oppose the incumbent Glassman for his senate seat.
“I wouldn’t even consider running against Senator Glassman,” she added.