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Two big names — Michael Steele and Tom Perez — say they will consider running for Maryland governor next year

A pair of high-profile political figures of opposite parties — Republican Michael Steele and Democrat Tom Perez — say they are considering running for Maryland governor in 2022.

Steele, the former lieutenant governor who is now an MSNBC commentator, said Friday he will seriously consider a campaign to succeed two-term Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who cannot run again because of term limits.

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“I’ll take a very strong, long look at it and see where the chips fall,” Steele told host Richard Sher on the “Square Off’ online public affairs program Friday.

“I know I’m not everyone’s favorite cup of tea within my party. I never have been. I don’t let those things bother me,” Steele said on the show.

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Perez, the former Democratic National Committee chair, was asked on “The Bill Press Pod” podcast on Tuesday whether he would consider seeking the open governor’s seat.

Perez replied that “I love the great State of Maryland” and would “take a look at” running.

“We’ll see what happens,” said Perez.

Before becoming party leader in 2017, Perez served as Montgomery County Council president, state labor secretary under then-Gov. Martin O’Malley and U.S. labor secretary under former President Barack Obama.

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Steele was lieutenant governor during the administration of former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., for one term beginning in 2003

Steele ran for Senate in 2006, losing to Democrat Ben Cardin by 10 points in a state in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2-to-1.

He went on to lead the Republican National Committee from 2009 to 2011, the first years of Obama’s presidency.

Steele was a frequent critic of former Republican President Donald Trump last year, and he endorsed Democratic President Joe Biden.

Steele had a television commitment Friday night and was unavailable to be interviewed, his assistant told The Baltimore Sun. Perez could not immediately be reached.

Maryland’s Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot has already announced he is running for governor. Republican Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford has said publicly that he is also considering running.

Democratic Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. and Republican County Executive Barry Glassman of Harford County acknowledged recently to The Baltimore Sun that people have been talking about whether they might seek the job.

And 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 has been made.

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