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Politics

Laura Neuman, former Anne Arundel County executive, decides against Democratic run for governor

Laura Neuman, the former Republican county executive for Anne Arundel County who launched a potential run for governor of Maryland as a Democrat, has decided to drop out of the race.

Neuman, who was the only woman in the crowded field seeking the Democratic nomination, had created a campaign finance account and announced her intentions to run in January, but never filed the official paperwork to appear on the ballot. The filing deadline for candidates is Friday at 9 p.m.

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A tech entrepreneur, Neuman moved to Baltimore County and changed her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat in the years since leaving the Anne Arundel County executive position. She announced her decision to drop out of the race and endorse current Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, in a statement released Thursday by Franchot’s campaign.

“I entered the gubernatorial race because I believe that every Marylander deserves access to opportunities to thrive, regardless of where their story starts,” Neuman said in the statement from Franchot’s campaign. “I look forward to standing beside Peter and [running mate] Monique [Anderson-Walker] throughout this campaign, and working hand-in-hand with them to build a better future for our state in the years ahead.”

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Neuman’s decision not to run leaves 10 candidates, all men, in the Democratic primary race and leaves Republican Kelly Schulz, who spent seven years as a cabinet official under Gov. Larry Hogan, as the lone woman seeking the governorship.

Neuman is the second Democrat to drop out of the race, following Baltimore businessman Mike Rosenbaum, who exited in November after a brief campaign.

Raised in Baltimore, Neuman survived a rape as a teenager and became an advocate for sexual assault survivors. The man who assaulted her was convicted decades later. She dropped out of high school but earned a GED and established a successful business career.

She was serving as Howard County government’s top economic development official in 2013 when she applied for the open position of Anne Arundel County executive, a post vacated after Republican John R. Leopold was convicted of misconduct in office and resigned.

The Anne Arundel County Council selected Neuman for the job. She served out the remainder of Leopold’s term but lost a bid to win a full term in 2014.


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