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U.S. Rep. Trone opts for reelection rather than a run for Maryland governor

Cross another potential Democratic candidate for Maryland governor off the list: U.S. Rep. David Trone, who considered a run, has decided instead to seek for reelection to his seat in Congress in 2022.

Trone announced Friday that he plans to run for a third term in Congress, representing a district that stretches from Western Maryland to Montgomery County.

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“I’m excited to continue bringing innovative solutions and a long-term vision to Congress, working to invest in the people and create a brighter future for all of our children,” Trone said in a statement. As part of his announcement, Trone released a list of endorsements from more than 30 current and former elected Democrats in his district.

Trone had been among more than a dozen potential gubernatorial candidates floated in Democratic circles. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is barred from running again by term limits, leaving the governor’s seat open.

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Trone, 65, is the co-founder of Total Wine & More and has spent millions of dollars of his money on his congressional campaigns, which led some people to believe he could have self-funded a viable campaign for governor.

A spokeswoman for Trone said last month that the congressman was “flattered” by those who encouraged him to run for the statewide office, but was focused on issues in his district.

Trone has a particular interest in the opioid epidemic, improving treatment options and bringing more federal money to the fight. Trone said that, if reelected, he’ll continue to work on opioids, mental health, criminal justice reform and medical research.

He also recently landed a coveted spot on the Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives.

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Trone’s decision comes one day after Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. made the same call, opting to run for reelection rather than going for the governorship.

There are five announced Democratic candidates for governor: state Comptroller Peter Franchot; former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III; John B. King, who was a federal education secretary under President Barack Obama; Jon Baron, who works for the Arnold Ventures philanthropic organization; and Ashwani Jain, who worked in the Obama White House.

Other Democrats who’ve said they’re weighing a run include: Tom Perez, former labor secretary under Obama; Doug Gansler, former state attorney general; author Wes Moore, and U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown.

Two Republicans have announced their candidacy: Kelly Schulz, who is Hogan’s secretary of commerce; and Robin Ficker, a perennial candidate from Montgomery County.

No candidate has officially filed paperwork to run; the deadline to file isn’t until Feb. 22.

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