In 2010, Gansler faced only token opposition. The lack of competition let him carry over $3 million in campaign funds for the 2014 election, giving him an early leg up in fundraising for the governor's race. Gansler started the year with about $5 million, far exceeding Brown's $1.6 million. Brown has since closed the gap by forming a team with Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, who had $2.1 million on hand in January before deciding to forgo a gubernatorial race and sign up as Brown's running mate.

Like Brown and Mizeur, Gansler is under pressure to raise money before the General Assembly convenes in January. All three are covered by a Maryland law that bans state elected officials from raising money during the annual 90-day session. When it ends in April, there will be an all-out sprint to the primary in June. In past years, it has been held in September.

With his announcement behind him, Gansler's next test will be to select a running mate who will bring balance, and perhaps some votes, to the ticket.

He stated in a private session, which later became public, that his running mate would be an African-American from Baltimore City or Prince George's County. Among those mentioned as possible choices are Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt, Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. and Prince George's County Dels. Jolene Ivey and Melony Griffith.

Gansler said Monday that he hasn't chosen a running mate and hasn't talked with anyone about coming aboard his ticket.

He said he will seek a partner "that I can work with who shares my vision."

Douglas F. Gansler

Born: Summit, N.J., Oct. 30, 1962

Resides: Montgomery County

Party: Democrat

Education: A.B., Yale University, 1985; University of Virginia School of Law, 1989

Professional: Assistant U.S. attorney, Washington, 1992-1998

Political: Montgomery County state's attorney, 1999-2007; Maryland attorney general, 2007-present

Personal: Married to Laura Leedy Gansler; two sons