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2022 Maryland governor’s race: Who’s in, who’s out, who’s on the fence

With Maryland’s General Assembly session wrapped up, more potential candidates are coming out with news about their plans to run in 2022 for an open seat for governor.

Others are taking themselves out of the running, or planning to seek other offices. And some are still deliberating, saying only that they’re considering a race — or that people are asking them to think about it. None have filed the paperwork to run; the deadline is Feb. 22.

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Republican Gov. Larry Hogan can’t run again next year, as Maryland law limits governors to two consecutive four-year terms.

Here’s a look at where some of the big names stand.

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In the running

Democratic State Comptroller Peter Franchot of Montgomery County was the early bird, announcing in January 2020 that he wanted state’s top elected post.

Former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III said April 9 that he will again seek the Democratic nomination for governor. He finished second in the 2018 primary.

Jon Baron of Montgomery County, who works in public policy with a philanthropic organization, added his name last month to the list of Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls.

Democrat Ashwani Jain of Montgomery County, who held several positions in the Obama White House, announced a run in January.

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Republican Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, who lives in Frederick County, is the latest to get into the race, talking about her plans Wednesday in a video on her campaign website.

Perennial Republican candidate Robin Ficker of Montgomery County said as early as a year ago that he would run.

Former U.S. Education Secretary John B. King of Montgomery County, describes himself as a “progressive problem solver.” King launched his campaign April 19.

They’re out

The decision Wednesday of Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford to opt out of the primary cleared the way for Schulz to be the Hogan-affiliated candidate in GOP race.

Angela Alsobrooks, the Democratic county executive in Prince George’s, said in a recent radio interview that she’s running for reelection there.

Republican Harford County Executive Barry Glassman decided to run for state comptroller after also considering a bid for governor.

Maybe, maybe not

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. mulled his prospects for the Democratic nomination April 11 in a series of tweets. He said he was “thoughtfully, prayerfully, and deliberately considering the 2022 election.”

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez of Montgomery County, who is also the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, said in January that he would “take a look at” running and “we’ll see what happens.”

Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler of Montgomery County said in January that he’s been sought out by people encouraging him to run again as an “experienced progressive.” He unsuccessfully ran for the nomination in 2014.

Author Wes Moore of Baltimore, who has stepped down from a nonprofit organization that fights poverty, said in February that he’s “seriously considering serving the great people of this state by seeking to become their governor.” Moore took another step April 28, filing with the state elections board to form a campaign finance account. That allows him to raise money as he weighs his options.

The Baltimore Sun reported in December that U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown, a Democrat who represents parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, is considering running, too, according to a source with knowledge of his thinking who declined to be named because no decision had been made. He was his party’s nominee in 2014, losing to Hogan in the general election.

A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. David Trone said April 14 that the congressman has been encouraged to run. While “flattered,” the Democrat representing Western Maryland and part of Montgomery County is focused for now on his work on the Appropriations Committee, pandemic recovery and improving addiction and mental health treatment.

Republican Michael Steele of Prince George’s County told The Sun on April 14 that he is “taking a hard, serious look at an opportunity to serve Marylanders again.” He was lieutenant governor with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Baltimore Sun reporters Jeff Barker, Emily Opilo and Pamela Wood contributed to this article.

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