Even though Marylandâ€™s gubernatorial election is more than a year away, the campaign to succeed Gov. Martin Oâ€™Malley has already begun to heat up.
Lieutenant Gov. Anthony Brown on Monday announced Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate. Attorney General Doug Gansler and state Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery County) are expected to officially throw their hats into the ring later this year, while Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger is also considered a potential candidate.
Mizeur reported in a campaign finance report she filed in January that she raised $244,089.40 between Jan. 12, 2012, and Jan. 9 of this year. Brown said he raised $1,247,811.80 in cash and in-kind donations during the same period, while Gansler netted $1,236,284.96.
â€śI have been taking a serious look at getting in the governorâ€™s race because I have been encouraged for some time by advocates I that have worked on a range of issues,â€ť Mizeur told the Washington Blade on Tuesday, citing the expansion of health care and environmental protections and the passage of last yearâ€™s same-sex marriage law as three of the specific things on which she has worked. â€śAs I am exploring those conversations with voters across the state, thereâ€™s a lot of energy and enthusiasm and momentum behind getting in.â€ť
Maryland Juice, a progressive political blog, on Monday reported Gansler could potentially tap gay Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton or lesbian state Del. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) as his running mate. The website said a reader pointed out Ireton attended a Brown campaign event on the same day he announced Ulman as his running mate.
On the Republican side, Harford County Executive David Craig, state Del. Ron George (R-Anne Arundel County,) 2012 U.S. Senate candidate Brian Vaeth and Frederick County Board of Commissioners President Blaine Young have officially declared their candidacy.
Former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele, who was Marylandâ€™s lieutenant governor from 2003-2007, told MSNBCâ€™s Chuck Todd on Monday he is â€ślooking atâ€ť entering the race. Former 2010 congressional candidate Charles Lollar is among the other Republicans who are rumored to be mulling the race.
The Washington Post reported Young described the passage of the stateâ€™s same-sex marriage law as a â€śtravestyâ€ť during a speech he gave at the Maryland Young Republicansâ€™ convention in Rockville on Saturday. Lollar also opposes nuptials for gays and lesbians.
â€śItâ€™s still early in the game yet,â€ť Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director Gregory T. Angelo told the Blade. â€śAt this point Iâ€™m more interested to see whether GOP contenders entertain the foolâ€™s errand of trying to roll back marriage equality rather than their personal opinions of it. I canâ€™t imagine any candidate campaigningâ€”much less winningâ€”on a platform of overturning the will of the people.â€ť
David Moon, publisher of Maryland Juice, said he doesnâ€™t expect a Republican will succeed Oâ€™Malley in 2014.
â€śItâ€™s really difficult to see the path to victory for any of the announced Republicans at this point,â€ť he told the Blade.
The primary election will be held in June 2014 and the general election in November.