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Sen. Simonaire mulls run for Arundel county exec

State Sen. Bryan W. Simonaire announced Wednesday afternoon that he's considering a run for Anne Arundel County Executive in 2014.

Simonaire, a Republican who represents District 31 in the General Assembly, said he expects to finish the process of forming an exploratory committee later this fall.

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Simonaire said he decided to blow the whistle a full three years before the election on his plans as a sort of preemptive strike against possible opponents.

"Several people are out there starting to try to gain support for the race," said Simonaire, a six-year veteran of the legislature. "Some of them are trying to take all the oxygen out of the room. I just want to make sure people know there are options out there and they don't have to commit."

Several other Republicans are rumored to be considering runs, including Del. Steve Schuh, former Ehrlich administration official Larry Hogan, Sen. Edward R. Reilly and former County Councilman Ronald C. Dillon, Jr.

Simonaire said much of his work in the legislature has centered on local issues involving education, the environment and law enforcement and he forsees having a greater impact on local issues as county executive. He also praised County Executive John R. Leopold, a second-term Republican who is term-limited.

"I think I'll have a bigger platform to work on local issues," he said. "I've seen a lot of issues come to my office and a lot of them are county issues. …I think there's a lot of work that can be done, to continue the work of Leopold. … I think he's done a good job. No politician's perfect. But as far as keeping taxes low, controlling spending and protecting the environment, he's done a good job."

Simonaire, 48, is an engineer at Northrop Grumman and lives in Pasadena. He and his wife Elizabeth have seven children, ranging in ages from 7 to 24.

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