Republican gubernatorial hopeful Harford County Executive David R. Craig officially named his running mate Tuesday, announcing Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio to his ticket at an event in Annapolis.
News of Haddaway-Riccio's role leaked out last week, but Tuesday was the first time the pair began selling themselves to the public. Craig cast Haddaway-Riccio as an able leader, an advocate for women and an environmental policy work who is capable of running the state herself.
“The Lt. Governor is too important a position to tell them to go in a corner for eight years and dabble on public policy experiments and come out to attend press conferences for the cameras," Craig said in a statement after the event. "I chose Jeannie because she will actually help me run the government."
Haddaway-Riccio, 36, served a decade representing the Eastern Shore in the General Assembly and rose the leadership position before losing her spot as minority Whip in a GOP shakeup this spring. She brings gender balance and youth to the ticket. Craig, 64, is a former state delegate and senator serving his second term as county executive.
Craig is one of two Republicans in the race to replace term-limited Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat. Craig will face Anne Arundel County Del. Ron George in the Republican primary next June.
George, a jewelry-store owner who spent six years in the legislature, has not yet named a running mate. On Tuesday, George announced he hired Republican fundraiser Hillary Pennington, who drew attention in the 2012 race after raising $1 million for Senate hopeful Dan Bongino.