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LaFerla Says He Will Run As Write-In Candidate In Md.'s 1st District

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- John LaFerla, who barely lost the Democratic primary to run in Maryland's 1st District congressional race, said Friday he will run as a write-in candidate.

LaFerla said Friday in a telephone interview that he is still waiting to hear whether the Maryland Democratic Party will officially name him as the candidate to run as a write-in after Wendy Rosen dropped out abruptly. She withdrew Monday after the party learned she voted in Maryland and Florida in 2006 and 2008.

"I'm moving ahead because I really can't wait," LaFerla said. "Every day that goes by is a day wasted."

LaFerla, who lost the Democratic primary to Rosen by less than 1 percentage point in April, said he is optimistic he will receive the support of a majority of county Democratic central committees in the district, and that he will get the party nod to run.

"I expect that I will be the candidate," he said.

Maryland Democratic Party spokesman Matthew Verghese said the party is trying to move as quickly and prudently as possible.

"We do hope to make an announcement very early next week," Verghese said.

Because it is too late to take Rosen's name off the ballot, any other candidate will have to run as a write-in, which does not require party approval.

"You have my word on it," LaFerla said. "I'm running."

LaFerla, 63, lives in Chestertown. He is a gynecologist with an office in Centreville.

LaFerla will be running in an uphill battle to defeat Republican Rep. Andy Harris in a district that includes the Eastern Shore, as well as parts of Cecil, Harford, Baltimore and Carroll counties.

Kathy Szeliga, Harris' campaign manager, said Friday that because the Democratic opponent on the ballot has dropped out, Harris is planning to hold town hall meetings with constituents in place of debates. Szeliga also noted that there could be multiple write-in candidates in addition to the one who ends up getting the backing of the Maryland Democratic Party.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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