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Doug Gansler to sit out 2018 race for governor

Doug Gansler
Doug Gansler (By Joshua McKerrow / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Former Attorney General Doug Gansler, who came in second in the 2014 Democratic primary for governor, said Monday that he will sit out the race for the nomination to challenge Gov. Larry Hogan next year.

Gansler, 54, said he had never been planning to run. But it was an option he kept open as the field of Democratic candidates grew.

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"I enjoy what I'm doing," Gansler said. "I did 22 years of public service, 16 years in elected office."

Gansler is now a partner in the Washington law firm of Buckley Sandler. He previously served eight years as Maryland's attorney general and eight as Montgomery County state's attorney.

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In 2014, Gansler finished a distant second to Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, who went on to lose to the Republican Hogan in the general election. Hogan has maintained strong popularity ratings since his election, and the eventual Democratic nominee could face an uphill climb.

The Democratic contest has attracted a mix of veteran politicians and political neophytes. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz launched his long-expected candidacy Monday, joining Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. of Montgomery County as the elected officials in the race.

Also running are former national NAACP president Ben Jealous, Baltimore lawyer Jim Shea, high-tech entrepreneur Alec Ross and Krishanti Vignarajah, a former aide to First Lady Michelle Obama.

"I think we've got a good crop of candidates," Gansler said.

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