Del. Jon Cardin -- nephew to U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin -- publicly launched his pre-campaign to be Maryland's next attorney general this morning with an email declaring that he's formed an "exploratory committee."

The field already includes Senate Judicial Proceedings Chairman Brian Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat. Also rumored to be considering a run are former U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil and Del. Bill Frick.

Current AG Doug Gansler is widely expected to run for governor in 2014 -- creating a vacancy.

Cardin, a Baltimore County Democrat, said in a statement that he's "exploring a run" for the office to "bring fairness and protection to Maryland's consumers, students, environment, and economy and to keep it as the best state to live, work and recreate."

The delegate is known in Annapolis for election law legislation and campaign finance reform. His opponents will likely focus on a different episode from his past: A decision to involve the Baltimore City police, including their helicopter, in a bizarre marriage proposal to his now wife.

Already a fake Twitter account has appeared mocking the delegate for the stunt -- another sign that a campaign has begun.