The number of candidates who have officially filed to run for statewide office has grown by two with the addition of Comptroller Peter Franchot for re-election and Del. C. William Frick for attorney general. Both are Democrats.
Franchot, who is seeking his third term as the state's chief tax collector, registered as a candidate with the State Board of Elections Thursday morning. Frick, a two term Montgomery County lawmaker, filed Wednesday.
The other candidates who have already filed for statewide office are Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, who filed as a ticket for governor and lieutenant governor in the Democratic primary race.
Franchot is so far unopposed. Frick is running against Sen. Brian E. Frosh of Montgomery County, the first to file for that office; Del. Jon S. Cardin of Baltimore County, who has announced but who has yet to file, and Del. Aisha Braveboy of Prince George's County, who has said he will run and who is expected to file soon.
The filing deadline is Feb. 25.
No Republicans have filed for comptroller or attorney general, perhaps a reflection of the long history of futility for GOP candidates for those offices. The last time a Republican was elected attorney general was 1918. No GOP candidate for comptroller has been successful since 1898.
While no Republicans have filed for governor, Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Anne Arundel County Del. Ron George and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar have announced they intend to run. Larry Hogan, chairman of the conservative advocacy group Change Maryland, is still considering a run. Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele told media outlets this week that he isn't running.
Franchot spent most of 2012 considering a run for governor and raising money as if he would make a run. He ultimately decided to run for his current office, but his $1.4 million war chest -- as of the last filing in January -- could be a powerful deterrent to potential rivals.
In another notable filing this week, Republican Del. Mike McDermott made official his candidacy for the Lower Eastern Shore Senate seat now held by Democratic Sen. James N. Mathias Jr. McDermott's entry sets the stage of what is likely to be one of Maryland's fiercest legislative battles next year -- pitting one of the House's most outspoken conservatives against the moderate former mayor of Ocean City.
Mathias' razor-thin victory in the 38th District in 2010 was a severe blow to Republicans, taking away a seat previously held by Sen. J. Lowell Stoltzfus, who retired that year.
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