Anne Arundel County's former sheriff, George F. Johnson IV, is joining the race for county executive as a Democrat.

Johnson, a Pasadena resident who has been the superintendent of the state's Natural Resources Police for the past seven years, will kick off his campaign Saturday.


Johnson has been down this road before: In 2006, he lost the county executive's race to John R. Leopold, who was re-elected in 2010 and resigned in 2013 after being convicted of misconduct.

Johnson served as elected sheriff from 1994 until 2006. Before that, he was a county police officer for more than 20 years.

In the Democratic primary, Johnson will face off against Joanna Conti, who also is making another run at the job after losing to Leopold in 2010.

Johnson said Anne Arundel County has suffered from "a tremendous lack of leadership" for several years and he can use his experience to elevate the county's reputation.

Johnson highlights his many years in law enforcement and in county and state government. He said he's built relationships over the years that he can leverage to benefit county residents.

"You're going to get somebody who knows the county at every part that exists. I know what people want in north county is far different from what people want in south county," he said.

On the Republican side, there are two announced candidates who are drawing a lot of attention: County Executive Laura Neuman, who was appointed last year to replace Leopold, and Del. Steve Schuh, who has had his eye on the top job for several years.

Primary elections will be held June 24, with early voting from June 12 through June 19.

The deadline to file to run for office this year is Feb. 25. So far, Schuh and Conti have filed their official candidacy paperwork. Johnson plans to file his paperwork on Friday.