Olszewski & Bhandari to Run for Ruppersberger’s Vacant Seat

-photo courtesy of Dutch Ruppersberger’s X (Formerly Twitter) page-

Democratic Congressman C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger announced on Friday that he would not seek reelection for his 2nd Congressional seat.

“It’s official: this term is my last. I want to thank my family, my staff and my constituents, who have entrusted me with this tremendous responsibility,” Ruppersberger wrote on X (formerly Twitter)

“I have never forgotten who I work for and tried to represent you with the integrity you deserve.”

The dominos are starting to fall after his announcement as candidates are lining up to fill that vacant seat. The Democratic primary is scheduled for May 14.

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr., a Democrat from Dundalk, announced on Tuesday that he would go after Ruppersberger’s seat.

“I am excited to announce that I’m officially running for Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District,” Olszewski said in a statement.

“As a public school teacher, a state legislator, and as Baltimore County Executive, I’m proud to have dedicated my life to serving our communities.”

Olszewski is in his second term as County Executive and will not be allowed to run in 2026, but he would have to give up his position the last two years of this term if he is elected in November.

He will be challenged by 8th District state delegate Harry Bhandari, who also announced on Monday that he is seeking that seat on the Democratic side.

“Excited and very humble to announce my candidacy for Congress in MD-02! From my journey from Nepal to Maryland, working from gas station attendant to State Delegate, I’m committed to giving back to this great country,” Bhandari wrote on social media. He is a resident of Overlea.

The Second Congressional District covers portions of Baltimore and Carroll counties and locally serves the communities of Essex, Middle River, Overlea, Parkville Rosedale and portions of Perry Hall.

According to the Maryland State Board of Elections, Jessica Sjoberg and Clint Spellman, Jr. are the other Democrats that have filed for that seat and they filed before Ruppersberger’s retirement announcement.

On the Republican side, Dave Wallce is the only candidate to file.

Ruppersberger was elected to the vacant Congressional seat in 2002 after Republican Bob Ehrlich gave up his seat to run for Governor.


B.J. Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later Eastcountytimes.com in 2022.

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