Governor’s race appears wide open on both sides
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 12:10

State attorney general’s race also contested; incumbents are favored in others

by Ben Boehl

    The field for the governor’s race is set, with six Democrats and five Republicans running for the state’s top job.
    According to a poll conducted by the Baltimore Sun, Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown remained at the head of his party’s primary field with the support of 35 percent of Democratic respondents. Attorney General Douglas Gansler was in second with 14 percent and Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur trailed Gansler closely with 10 percent.
    There is still a chance for either Gansler or Mizeur to gain ground on Brown, however, as the poll also showed 40 percent of Democratic voters are undecided.
    The Sun poll revealed a surprise on the GOP side. Although he did not declare his candidacy until January, Larry Hogan, a former official in the administration of Gov. Robert Ehrlich, was reported to be leading the race with 13 percent support in the poll.

Harford County Executive David Craig, who was considered to be the prohibitive favorite by many when he kicked off his campaign last June, was listed with only 7 percent of the vote. Anne Arundel County Del. Ron George had 6 percent and Southern Maryland businessman Charles Lollar had 5 percent.
    The race should still be considered wide open, however, with 66 percent of Republicans declaring themselves undecided in the Sun poll.

Congressional seat
    After flirting with the idea of running for Governor, 2nd District U.S. Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger will be seeking a seventh term in Congress. He will be opposed by two Democrats in the primary. Aberdeen resident David Banach is the only Republican to file in the race.

Statewide offices
    With Gansler running for governor, three Democrats have come out for his post.
    Delegates Jon Cardin and Aisha Braveboy and state Sen. Brian Frosh  have already been campaigning for the Democratic nomination, while Del. Bill Frick withdrew from the race to seek re-election to his House seat. Towson resident Jeffrey Pritzker is the only Republican in the race.
    There is a Dundalk connection in the attorney general race, as Eastfield-Stanbrook resident Leo Dymowski is running for the post under the Libertarian banner. Dymowski ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Libertarian in 2012.
    A rematch for state comptroller looms, as Democratic incumbent Peter Franchot, seeking his third term in the post, will be challenged by Republican William H. Campbell in a repeat of the 2010 contest that Franchot won handily.

County Executive
    In Baltimore County, there were rumors that County Executive Kevin Kamenetz might be challenged by Republican Del. Pat McDonough of Middle River or face a rematch with Democrat Joe Bartenfelder, who he narrowly defeated in the 2010 primary. In the end, however, both passed on the chance to run for county executive.
    Three Republicans, one Democrat and a write-in candidate have filed to challenge Kamenetz.
    The most prominent candidate is Tony Campbell, former chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee and the apparent frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

County races

    Most Democratic incumbents in other county offices also face seemingly clear paths to re-election.
    Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and Register of Wills Grace Connolly have no primary or general election opponents.
    County Sheriff R. Jay Fisher will be challenged by Raymond Boccelli (who ran against him as a Republican in 2010) and Al Roberts in the Democratic primary, but the winner will have no Republican opponent in November.
    Julie Ensor is seeking another term as Clerk of the Court; she will be challenged by Kevin Rex Mooring in the Democratic primary. No Republican is running for that office.