WASHINGTON- Rep. Roscoe Bartlett and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have more in common than party affiliation these days. Romney’s campaign announced Friday it is hiring Republican strategist Bob Wickers, the same strategist Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s campaign hired Thursday .
Wickers — known for his work with Mike Huckabee’s 2008 campaign, including an advertisement featuring Chuck Norris — will be GOP front-runner Romney’s senior adviser to the campaign and will work as a general consultant and lead strategist for incumbent Bartlett, R-Frederick.
The 10-term congressman faces tough competition in the 6th District with seven other Republican candidates and new district boundaries, which include parts of Democratic Montgomery County.
“When you pull in someone like Wickers who worked with Huckabee… that really is a sign that you are taking this race seriously and you are running to win,” said political science professor Todd Eberly of St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
“Oh we’re fighting. From early morning to late at night,” Bartlett said. “We have never really had a campaign like this. We have never hired a campaign consultant” or used professional fundraisers.
Wickers shouldn’t have a problem serving both Romney and Bartlett well, Eberly said, and Bartlett’s new attachment to the Romney campaign may be a benefit.
“Bartlett is not attaching himself with the more social conservative voters who do not play well in Maryland or Montgomery County,” Eberly said citing Romney’s more moderate views.
“This is just sort of a warning shot to any Republican candidate that this is a fight.”