Del. Ron George said Tuesday that he has selected former Frederick Alderman Shelley Aloi as his running mate in his bid for the Republican nomination for governor.
George, a two-term legislator from Anne Arundel County, presented Aloi as his choice for lieutenant governor at an Annapolis news conference. Tuesday was the last day to file candidacy papers for the June 24 primary.
Aloi, 53, served a single term as an alderman. She was defeated when she took on Frederick's incumbent Republican mayor, Randy McClement, in last year's municipal election.
George, 60, introduced Aloi as a woman with a varied background as an AIDS researcher, teacher, volunteer on humanitarian aid missions, banking analyst and karate instructor.
"We represent a new wing of the Republican Party — one that is fiscally conservative and solution-oriented, one that welcomes Democrats and independents who are searching for a new direction," George said.
Aloi said she was "excited" to have been asked to run with George, calling him "a different kind of Republican."
"Ron has shown a real gift for reaching across the aisle," she said.
Aloi ducked a question about her views on social issues, saying that George's campaign is solely focused on economic matters. She said she had been considering a challenge to state Sen. Ronald N. Young, a Democrat, before George asked her to join his ticket.
Aloi joins a campaign that has been struggling to raise money and gain name recognition in a four-way Republican race. George is attempting to become the first sitting state delegate to be elected governor.
Others in the Republican gubernatorial contest are Harford County Executive David R. Craigand his running mate, Del. Jeannie Haddaway of Talbot County; former Ehrlich administration official Larry Hogan and his choice for lieutenant governor, former state General Services Secretary Boyd Rutherford; and Charles County business executive Charles Lollar and his ticket mate, former congressional candidate Kenneth R. Timmerman.
No candidate has emerged as a strong favorite in a race in which two out of three Republican primary voters are undecided, according to a recent Baltimore Sun poll. Hogan was the choice of 13 percent of GOP voters, with Craig second at 7 percent. George came in third with 6 percent while Lollar was the choice of 5 percent.
None of the Republican candidates who has filed a campaign finance report has had much success in raising money, but George in particular has struggled. As of early last month, he had only $15,450 in the bank — well behind Craig but ahead of Lollar. Hogan, who entered the race late, has not yet filed a campaign finance report.
As a state official, George cannot raise money during the General Assembly session, which ends April 7. Under a state elections board ruling, Aloi would be permitted to accept donations for a campaign committee in her name alone as long as she keeps her fund-raising operations separate from George's.
That ruling has been the subject of a court challenge. George said he wasn't sure how his ticket will deal with the question of fund-raising by Aloi.
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