Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler removed any lingering doubts about whether he might seek re-election rather than run for governor as he released a statement Saturday vowing not to seek a third term.
In a statement released to The Sun after inquiries about his intentions, Gansler said he would finish out his current term but not seek another.
"Protecting children and families as attorney general has been a mission of mine, and while I will not seek a third term, I will continue to work for the people of Maryland during the remainder of my term and in the future," Gansler's statement said.
The attorney general stopped short of saying explicitly that he will run for governor, though aides have assured reporters he will enter the race. The campaign is currently planning a formal announcement in the fall, insisting that Gansler's timing will not be affected by the decision of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown -- his chief rival -- to announce his candidacy last month. Brown also got a jump on his rivals by letting it be known that on Monday he will announce that Howard County Executive Ken Ulman has agreed to be his running mate.
Before Saturday's statement, Ulman had been sending mixed signals about his plans. Aides were assuring reporters there were no doubts he would run for the State House. But Gansler himself was giving interviews as recently as last month saying he was keeping all his options open and stressing how much he enjoyed his current role.
By precluding a run for attorney general, Gansler gives potential donors an added level of assurance that he is in it to win it. The announcement also provides a new level of comfort for aspiring candidates for attorney general that the incumbent won't jump back into the race with his commanding war chest of more than $5 milion.
Officials who have expressed interest in running for attorney general include Sen. Brian E. Frosh and Del. William Frick of Montgomery County, Del. Aisha Braveboy of Prince George's County and Del. Jon Cardin of Baltimore County. All are Democrats.
Other potential Democratic contenders for governor are Del. Heather Mizeur of Montgomery County and U.S Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Baltimore County.