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Bartenfelder Resurfaces, Franchot Farms for Votes (Maybe)

Former Councilman shows his friend around. At least one of them is believed to be running for office.

Peter Franchot stood behind Joe Bartenfelder's farm stand Sunday looking a bit out of place when a woman walked up and wanted to buy some onions and potatoes.

The comptroller who hails from Takoma Park fumbled to open a plastic bag as he added up her purchases.

"That's $4.00," Franchot said as he introduced himself as the chief tax state tax collector.

"How much change do I get back?" the woman playfully fired back.

And just then, Bartenfelder, the former Baltimore County councilman, stepped in.

"Nooo," he said with a smile as he reached for the 10 spot. "We don't let him handle the money."

And so began Franchot's introduction to the crowd and vendors who braved the stormy weather for the Baltimore Farmer's Market Sunday.

The two Democrats forged a friendship when both served in the House of Delegates and were on the Appropriations Committee together.

Both men are now the subject of talk regarding their political futures.

Franchot is considered to be already running for governor in 2014. Some have said his interest in the in Baltimore City and Baltimore and Garrett Counties is, in part, a set up for that campaign.

If having Bartenfelder introduce him around to the farmers from Harford and Baltimore and Montgomery Counties was part of the campaign, Franchot was admitting to it.

"That's years from now," Franchot said of the 2014 campaign. "I just find getting out and talking to people like this is wonderful."

Bartenfelder has been all but out of politics since his 2010 primary loss to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. After the of Ken Holt, Kamenetz's Republican rival, the farmer from Fullerton has been out of the spotlight save for a few community meetings.

There is speculation Bartenfelder might return to elected politics.

The proposal to redraw the county's seven council districts moves his home out of his former 6th District, which is now represented by Democrat Cathy Bevins. If approved, Bartenfelder, who some describe as a conservative Democrat, would be in the 5th District which is represented by David Marks, a freshman Republican described by some as moderate.

Bartenfelder could also run for the House of Delegates again depending on how the 8th District is redrawn.

Franchot didn't miss the chance to encourage his friend.

"We need more people like you in the Democratic Party," Franchot said.

Bartenfelder isn't saying if either is a serious consideration.

"I'm not saying I am and I'm not saying I won't," said Bartenfelder. "It's just not something I'm putting any weight on right now."

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Robert Armstrong August 23, 2011 at 03:46 AM
Well Bueller, it's not one of those Stinky "We will let anybody in" Quasi Clubs like Sparrows Point. We don't let Titty Bar Owners as members.
mike gardiner August 23, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Franchot is and was one of the most liberal legilsators of all time. That is fine but all of these comments come from Joe B. conservatives and Republicans.
jim butterfield October 07, 2011 at 05:38 PM
Joe Bartenfelder is one of the most honest people I have ever had the pleasure to campaign for. If he does not run for office it will be a tremendous loss for the people of Md. To find an honest politician today is rare. Jim Butterfield
rayparkville October 08, 2011 at 02:53 AM
Franchot is such a grandstanding lightweight. He was a left wing delegate from Montgomery Country and now pretends to be a fiscal guru. Send him back to his la la world. We can see through his phony facade. Stay out of our County.
HaleThorpe October 09, 2011 at 01:26 PM
From what I can tell, Peter Franchot's just about the only Democrat in Annapolis who holds his own party's feet to the fire on taxes and spending. I think he's an honest guy who's trying to do right by the taxpayers, and I like that he's spending time with "common sense" people like Joe Bartenfelder. He'll have my vote in 2014.

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