Gov. Larry Hogan filed paperwork on Thursday making his run for a second term official.
Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford posted a video on social media showing them going to the state elections office in Annapolis for the political ritual of signing candidacy forms.
“We’re officially going to sign the paperwork to run for re-election and do another term,” the Republican governor said as the pair stood outside the office. “We’ve got another four months before we know even who we’re running against. We have plenty of time for campaigning.”
Once inside, as they signed the paperwork, Hogan joked to Rutherford: “We could switch up this time if you want to sign this one.”
Before Thursday, Hogan and Rutherford hadn’t announced their re-electon plans or launched a campaign, though it was widely expected that they would seek another term. The pair reported in January that they had more than $9 million combined in their campaign finance accounts.
The deadline to file candidacy papers to run in this year’s election is at 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
Six candidates recognized by the Democratic Party are vying for a chance to take on Hogan: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, former NAACP leader Ben Jealous, state sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., tech author and entrepreneur Alec Ross, Baltimore lawyer Jim Shea and former Michelle Obama policy adviser Krish Vignarajah.
Perennial candidate Ralph Jaffe also has filed to run in the Democratic primary on June 26.
Hogan remains popular heading into re-election, with a 62 percent approval rating in the Goucher Poll released last week. But only 47 percent of those polled said they would support voting for Hogan again, a number that has dropped 10 points over the past year.
The Democratic primary appears to be wide open, with 47 percent of voters in the Goucher Poll saying they were undecided. Of those with a preference, 19 percent supported Baker, 12 percent supported Kamenetz and 10 percent supported Jealous. The remainder of the candidates polled between 1 and 3 percent.
Two candidates from third parties have filed to run for governor and will appear only on the general election ballot in November: Libertarian Shawn Quinn and Ian Schlakman of the Green Party.
This story has been updated to include all of the Democratic candidates.