Del. Steven R. Schuh said Thursday he has formed an exploratory committee to examine a run for Anne Arundel County Executive in 2014.
Schuh, a Pasadena Republican, said the committee was formed in the fall and had its first meeting in October. The disclosure comes as Schuh, who has long been rumored to be considering a run, is leading the pack in fundraising prowess among possible candidates to replace County Executive John R. Leopold, who is term-limited.
Schuh has $283,000 in on-hand campaign cash, with $250,000 raised in 2011, according to recently released campaign finance reports.
"I'm certainly pleased with the money we've been able to raise," Schuh said in a brief interview. "I'm really encouraged by our progress. I guess people are interested in the possibility of me considering running for county executive."
Schuh, a franchisee partner for nine Green Turtle restaurants, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2006.
Sen. Bryan W. Simonaire, a Pasadena Republican, said last September he was also considering a run. He has about $24,300 in his campaign account.