Frank Kratovil

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Frank Kratovil
Official FK Picture.JPG
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Wayne Gilchrest
Succeeded by Andy Harris
Queen Anne's County State's Attorney
In office
January 2003 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by David Gregory
Succeeded by Lance G. Richardson
Personal details
Born (1968-05-29) May 29, 1968 (age 50)
Lanham, Maryland
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kimberly Kratovil (m. 1992)
Children Frank Kratovil III
Jackson Kratovil
Cole Kratovil
Nate Kratovil
Ayden Kratovil
Residence Stevensville, Maryland
Alma mater Western Maryland College
University of Baltimore School of Law
Profession Prosecutor

Frank Michael Kratovil Jr. (born May 29, 1968) is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Maryland's 1st congressional district from 2009 to 2011. Elected in 2008, he was defeated in his bid for reelection on November 2, 2010. Kratovil is a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as State's Attorney of Queen Anne's County on Maryland's Eastern Shore, and he was appointed as a judge for the county's District Court by Governor Martin O'Malley in December 2011.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Frank Kratovil was born in Lanham, Maryland, spent his childhood in Prince George's County, Maryland. He is the son of Frank M. Kratovil Sr. and Lynnda Kratovil. Kratovil attended high school at Queen Anne School in Upper Marlboro and graduated in 1986. Kratovil received his bachelor's degree in 1990 from Western Maryland College. He joined Phi Delta Theta while there and played soccer, basketball and baseball. In soccer, he served as Captain for three years, was named to the Middle-Atlantic Conference All-Conference Team and received the Most Valuable Offensive Player Award and the Homer Earl Outstanding Player Award.[1][2][3][additional citation(s) needed] Upon graduation, he was awarded the Bates Prize for the Most Outstanding Graduating Male, the Charles W. Havens Award, awarded to an intercollegiate athlete who "has shown by word and deeds the attributes of charity, altruism, benevolence, and a humane and compassionate concern for his fellow man", and the Carroll County Scholar-Athlete Award.[4][additional citation(s) needed] Kratovil then graduated with honors from University of Baltimore School of Law in 1994. He served from 1994 to 1995 as Law Clerk for Judge Darlene G. Perry of Prince George's County Circuit Court. From 1995 to 1997 he served as Assistant State’s Attorney for Prince George's County, Maryland.[5][6]

In 1997, Kratovil moved to the Eastern Shore and was appointed Assistant State’s Attorney for Queen Anne's County, Maryland. During his tenure as Assistant State's Attorney he served as the County's only full-time Prosecutor and Community Prosecutor.[5] He continued to serve as Assistant State's Attorney until 2001 when he was appointed as Deputy State's Attorney in Kent County, Maryland.[6] He also served as the President of the Young Democrats of Maryland from 1997 to 1998, and in 1998 was selected to represent the United States on the American Council of Young Political Leaders' delegation to Taiwan.[7] He was also a member and on the Executive Committee of the Queen Anne's County Local Management Board.

Queen Anne's County State's Attorney[edit]

In 2002, Kratovil ran for the office of State's Attorney in Queen Anne's County and was elected after defeating four term incumbent David Gregory in the primary and Republican Paul W. Comfort in the general election. Kratovil assumed office at the age of 34 making him the youngest State's Attorney in Maryland.[5] He ran unopposed for re-election in 2006.[8] He was elected by his fellow State's Attorneys to be President of the Maryland State's Attorneys' Association (MDSAA) for 2005. During his time as President of the MDSAA, he pushed for stronger legislation to expand prosecution of gangs and increased awareness of growing problems with drugs and gangs in Maryland's rural areas.[9][10]

Political campaigns[edit]


On June 4, 2007 Kratovil announced that he would run for Congress in Maryland's 1st congressional district.[11] During the February 12 primary, Kratovil defeated fellow Democrats Christopher Robinson, Steve Harper, and Joseph Werner.

Kratovil expected to face nine-term Republican incumbent Wayne Gilchrest, a leading Republican moderate, in the general election. However, Gilchrest was ousted in the Republican primary by a considerably more conservative Republican, State Senator Andy Harris. This significantly changed the dimensions of the race, as Kratovil was now running for an open seat rather than against a long-term incumbent such as Gilchrest.

Kratovil was initially a heavy underdog due to the district's election history. Although Democrats and Republicans are nearly tied in registration, the 1st has a strong tinge of social conservatism that favors Republicans. The district had been in Republican hands for all but 14 years since 1947. Kratovil got a significant boost when Gilchrest endorsed Kratovil over Harris.[12] In June, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) decided to back Kratovil's campaign financially through their Red to Blue program.[13] Kratovil, who is considered a moderate,[14] picked up a number of endorsements from local Eastern Shore Republicans as well as Democrats.[15] He also received an endorsement from the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative congressional Democrats.[16] CQ Politics designated the race as "No Clear Favorite."

The November election was as close as expected. On election night, Kratovil led Harris by 915 votes. After two rounds of counting absentee ballots, Kratovil's lead grew to 2,000 votes. Forecasting that it would be nearly impossible for Harris to close the gap, most media outlets declared Kratovil the winner on the night of November 7.[17] Harris finally conceded on November 11.

Kratovil's election dramatized the geographic split that characterizes the 1st District. An Eastern Shore resident, Kratovil carried all nine counties on the Shore. However, he lost badly in the district's portion of Baltimore County, including most of Harris' base in Baltimore's more conservative eastern suburbs. He also lost the district's portions of Harford and Anne Arundel counties on the Western Shore. The district's voters are split almost evenly between the two regions. Kratovil thus became only the fourth Democrat to represent the 1st since 1947. Proving just how Republican this district still was, John McCain carried the 1st with 58 percent of the vote, his best showing in the state.


Harris announced in May 2009 that he would seek a rematch against Kratovil, citing Kratovil's vote for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 in its final form.[18]

Kratovil based his 2010 re-election bid on his independent streak in Washington. He was quoted as saying "We can send someone to Washington who is going to continue to be independent and put the interests of the people of his district first, or we can send people that are going to put their own extreme ideological views ahead of the best interests of the people of this district."[19] He also pointed to his overall record in Congress as proof. He was ranked as being in the top ten of independent voting records in Congress by CQ Politics in 2009.[20]

A "Super PAC" group called The Concerned Taxpayers of America paid $150,000 for ads attacking Kratovil, and $300,000 for ads attacking Peter DeFazio of Oregon. Mid-October 2010 quarterly FEC filings showed that the group was solely funded by $300,000 from Daniel G. Schuster Inc., a concrete firm in Owings Mills, Maryland, and $200,000 from New York hedge fund executive Robert Mercer, the co-head of Renaissance Technologies of Setauket, New York. According to Dan Eggen at The Washington Post, the group said "it was formed in September 'to engage citizens from every walk of life and political affiliation' in the fight against 'runaway spending.'" Its only expenditures were for these ads. Schuster was the top contributor to Harris.[21][22][23][24]

The district reverted to form, and Kratovil was defeated, taking 42 percent of the vote to Harris' 54 percent. In yet more proof of just how Republican this district still was, no Democrat has won more than 30 percent of the vote since Kratovil's defeat.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments

Kratovil voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March 2010, citing "the overall cost, the deficit impact, and the negative impact that the bill’s employer mandates could have on job creation."[25] Afterward, Kratovil touted his opposition to the law in campaign ads.[26]

Electoral history[edit]

Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2002 Queen Anne's County State's Attorney[27] General Frank Kratovil Democratic 9,169 57.23% Paul W. Comfort Republican 6,830 42.63%
2006 Queen Anne's County State's Attorney[8] General Frank Kratovil Democratic 13,894 100%
2008 U.S. House, Maryland's 1st district[28] Primary Frank Kratovil Democratic 28,566 40.2% Christopher Robinson Democratic 21,892 30.8% Steve Harper Democratic 11,904 16.7% Joseph Werner Democratic 8,753 12.3%
2008 U.S. House, Maryland's 1st district[29] General Frank Kratovil Democratic 177,065 49.1% Andy Harris Republican 174,213 48.3% Richard James Davis Libertarian 8,873 2.5% Write-ins 35 0.1%
2010 U.S. House, Maryland's 1st district[30] General Andy Harris Republican 155,118 54.1% Frank Kratovil Democratic 120,400 42.0% Richard James Davis Libertarian 10,876 3.8% Write-ins 418 0.15%

District Court Judge[edit]

In late December 2011, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley appointed Kratovil as a judge for the Queen Anne's County District Court. Kratovil had been nominated by the Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission to fill a vacancy due to the retirement of Judge John T. Clark III.[31]


  1. ^ "Men's Soccer All-Time Captains". McDaniel College. Retrieved October 14, 2017. 
  2. ^ "Men's Soccer All-Time Honor Role". McDaniel College. Retrieved October 14, 2017. 
  3. ^ "Men's Soccer Career History". McDaniel College. Retrieved October 14, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Charles W. Havens Award Winners". McDaniel College. Retrieved October 14, 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c Office of State's Attorney, Queen Anne's County Archived 2009-02-10 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ a b "Frank M. Kratovil, Jr., Maryland District Court Judge". Maryland State Archives. September 29, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Frank Kratovil history". Archived from the original on August 27, 2008. 
  8. ^ a b 2006 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Archived 2008-07-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Castaneda, Ruben (February 11, 2007). "Bill Seeks To Expand Prosecution Of Gangs". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Gang Problems Spreading Across Maryland". Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Frank Kratovil candidacy announcement" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 27, 2008. 
  12. ^ Lake, Sarah (September 9, 2008). "Gilchrest crosses party lines to support Kratovil". The Salisbury Flyer. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  13. ^ DCCC announces third round of Red to Blue (
  14. ^ Congressional race in Maryland gets tight - The Washington Blade
  15. ^ Two local GOP figures endorse Kratovil - The Star Democrat
  16. ^ 'Blue Dog Coalition' gives endorsement to Kratovil - The Capital
  17. ^ Kratovil Wins 1st District Seat Over Harris Archived 2011-09-30 at the Wayback Machine.. Associated Press via WBAL-TV, 2008-11-07.
  18. ^ "Rematch: Harris versus Kratovil". The Baltimore Sun. May 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  19. ^ Knauss, Chris (June 27, 2010). "Kratovil says common sense solutions needed in Washington". The Star Democrat. Easton, Maryland. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  20. ^ "CQ Vote Studies: 2009". CQ Roll Call. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  21. ^ DeFazio tries to find out who is behind mysterious attack ads, Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post, September 25, 2010
  22. ^ Wealthy financier is mysterious funder of ads attacking DeFazio, Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian, October 15, 2010
  23. ^ Concerned Taxpayers group is powered by only two donors, Dan Eggen, The Washington Post, October 17, 2010
  24. ^ Pioneering Fund Stages Second Act, Scott Patterson and Jenny Strasburg, The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2010
  25. ^ "Kratovil Statement on Health Care Reform Legislation". (Press release). Congessman Frank Kratovil. March 21, 2010. [dead link]
  26. ^ D'Aprile, Shane (August 31, 2010). "Rep. Kratovil touts healthcare opposition in first TV ad". The Hill. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  27. ^ Oueen Anne's County Board of Elections – Statement of Votes Cast Queen Anne's General; November 5, 2002; State of Maryland, Queen Anne's County (11/15/2002)
  28. ^ "Representative in Congress Results". Maryland State Board of Elections. Retrieved April 11, 2008. 
  29. ^ "Representative in Congress Results". Maryland State Board of Elections.  Retrieved on Jun. 14, 2009
  30. ^ "Representative in Congress Results". Maryland State Board of Elections.  Retrieved on November 6, 2011
  31. ^ "O'Malley Appoints Kratovil to be a Judge". WBOC. December 29, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Wayne Gilchrest
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 1st congressional district

Succeeded by
Andy Harris