Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has a great political resume -- he has undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, serves as a colonel in the Army Reserve and rose quickly through the ranks during his two terms in the House of Delegates before being selected by Gov. Martin O'Malley as his running mate in 2006. He is the first African-American Democrat to be elected to statewide office in Maryland and is the highest-ranking official in the nation to have served in the Iraq war. A native of Long Island, N.Y., he lives in Prince George¿s County. Advantages: Mr. Brown is the front-runner in early polling and has the endorsement of Mr. O'Malley for whatever office he seeks. His connection to the governor¿s substantial political machine gives him a leg up in fundraising and building connections to parts of the state where he is less well known, particularly Baltimore. He is at present the only likely candidate from Prince George¿s County, a key jurisdiction in a Democratic primary, and the only African-American. If he is able to capitalize on those advantages, he would be difficult for other candidates to catch, particularly if the field remains crowded. Disadvantages: No Maryland lieutenant governor in the modern era has gone on to win higher office. That's partially coincidence and partially a function of voters¿ inevitable desire for something new after (generally) eight years of one administration. That fate may not befall Mr. Brown -- so far, Mr. O'Malley is far more popular than other governors have been at this point in their terms -- but he does need to find a way to get out of the shadows and into the spotlight. It doesn¿t help that the most biggest tasks he has been given, such as coordinating efforts to manage the impact of a federal military base realignment and setting up health insurance exchanges under Obamacare, fall in the category of important but unexciting.
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Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun
Douglas F. Gansler easily won election as attorney general in 2006 ran unopposed four years later, allowing him to amass a formidable campaign war chest. He grew up in Montgomery County and attended Sidwell Friends School in Washington. He graduated from Yale and the University of Virginia School of Law. He worked as a federal prosecutor before being elected Montgomery County state’s attorney in 1998. As attorney general, he has focused on the environment and helped secure Maryland’s share of a national mortgage fraud settlement. Advantages: With Mr. Franchot’s departure, Mr. Gansler has the inside track on the pivotal Montgomery County vote. He has far more money in the bank than his prospective opponents — more than $4 million to Mr. Brown’s $800,000, according to the most recent campaign finance reports. His foc
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Maryland's next gubernatorial election is still nearly two years away, but with the most wide open contest for the post in a generation, 2013 is bound to mark the beginning of serious campaigning from a host of ambitious politicians in both parties. Comptroller Peter Franchot was the first presumed contender to formally declare his intentions -- he said in December that he will run for re-election, not governor -- but others are likely to announce their campaigns as early as this spring. Here¿s a brief rundown of the likely candidates in both parties and a handicapping of their odds as the race begins.