Rep.Roscoe G. Bartlett, the Western Maryland Republican who is fighting to defend his House seat in the state's 6th District, has brought a well-known political aide on board to run what is likely to be one of the most closely watched House campaigns in the nation.

Brice Kornegay, a former field director for the Republican Governors Association and field representative for the National Republican Congressional Committee, will assume the title of "campaign director." Ted Dacey, an ally of state GOP chairman Alex X. Mooney who led Bartlett through a crowded primary election in April, will remain campaign manager but will report to Kornegay.

The move is the latest indication that Bartlett is stepping up his campaign, which is now mostly focused on improving its fundraising. Bartlett is facing a difficult reelection this year after the 6th Congressional District was redrawn by Democrats in Annapolis. Potomac banker John Delaney, a first-time political candidate, won the Democratic nomination by a significant margin in April.

Kornegay, 30, worked his way up from intern to campaign manager for Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican now in his fifth term. The University of Oklahoma graduate also worked for Cole's congressional office from 2003 until 2007.