Del. Guy Guzzone, a Columbia Democrat, announced Thursday that he will run for Sen. Jim Robey's open Senate seat in 2014.
"Join with me, together we're going to continue to do good things for this community and for the state," Guzzone told a crowd of approximately 250 supporters inside the Ridgely's Run Community Center in Jessup.
Guzzone's annual pizza party fundraiser was attended by notable politicians such as Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, along with numerous state delegates and county council members.
Robey, an Elkridge Democrat, announced in April that he would retire after completing his second term serving District 13 in the Senate.
Guzzone, 49, has represented District 13 as a delegate since 2007. The district is also represented in the House by Democrats Frank Turner and Shane Pendergrass.
Robey returned the praise at Thursday's event, saying it is "time to open the door for Guy Guzzone" while urging everyone to support Guzzone.
"He is an outstanding public servant, not a politician, a public servant," Robey said.
After two terms in the House, Guzzone has earned prominent committee assignments, including his appointment this year to chair the public safety and administration subcommittee of the appropriations committee.
There is still a long way to the election, but if elected, Guzzone said he wouldn't feel as if he were starting over after conversations with Senate leadership.
"I think I will have the opportunity to play a very good role there," he said.