Craig plans statewide blitz, gives radio preview

Harford County Executive David R. Craig's all-but-official campaign for the 2014 Republican nomination for governor plans an ambitious rollout tour that will take him to every region of the state next week after his announcement Monday.

Craig's campaign released his itinerary as the county executive went on Baltimore radio to promote his vision of how the state should be run. The veteran GOP office-holder offered few specifics but touted his experience as an educator as one of his prime qualifications for higher office.

Among other things, he said his experience as a middle school principal had given him the ability to spot which children of 11-13 would eventually wind up going to jail unless educators intervened.

Craig's campaign plans to follow up the Monday announcement of his candidacy, which will be delivered from his home, with an appearances in Dundalk and Hagerstown.  Tuesday will bring him to Silver Spring, Prince Frederick and Annapolis. On Wednesday, he will make appearances in Salisbury and Easton.

On Friday's Marc Steiner Show, Craig promised to be more efficient in spending and said he would rather grow the economy than raise taxes. However, he made no promises of a rollback of Gov. Martin O'Malley's tax increases.

In general terms, Craig laid out a series of policy positions:

--He indicated opposition to repeal of the death penalty, turning around Steiner's question to say it would have been better to repeal the "death tax," the Republican term for estate taxes. He said that if prosecutors had the option of the death penalty, they would be in a better position in plea negotiations. 

--On same-sex marriage, he said he respected the decision of the people in the 2012 referendum that upheld the law allowing gay couples to marry.

--Without promising to stop it, he questioned the need for the Baltimore Red Line, an east-west light rail project at the top of the city's transportation wish list.

--Asked about the recently passed law providing $1 billion for a massive rebuilding of Baltimore city schools, he questioned whether an adequate study had been done but did not identify any specific flaws in the plan. He said the city school system needs far fewer buildings than it now has -- an opinion shared by the system itself. In general terms, he expressed support for public infrastructure spending.

--He said the main thing he will look for in a running mate is the person's qualifications to serve as governor.





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