Harford County Executive David R. Craig, a Republican, plans to announce his candidacy for governor at an event Monday, his campaign confirmed today.
Craig will be the second candidate and the first Republican to officially launch a gubernatorial bid campaign for the 2014 contest. Both parties will have wide-open primary races for the first time since 1994. Republican Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County plans declare his candidacy for governor on June 5.
Craig, 63, plans to have several radio interviews Friday laying out his vision for the state, a campaign aide said. Craig was elected to his second term as county executive in 2010 and has also served as a state senator and a state delegate, as well as mayor of Havre de Grace and a city councilman.
Also on Monday, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown plans to name Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate for the Democratic nomination, according to people familiar with the situation. The move takes a potential contender out of a crowded field and brings Ulman’s substantial campaign chest to Brown’s campaign.
Brown’s fundraising had lagged behind other possible Democratic candidates in the race to secede term-limited Gov. Martin O’Malley, according to the most recent campaign finance report released in January.
Brown had $1.6 million on hand, compared with Ulman’s $2.1 million. A Brown-Ulman ticket is likely to face other Democrats considering the race, including Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who had $5.2 million in the bank in January, and Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur, who had $380,000.
Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger has said he is also considering the race.
Both the Brown campaign and Ulman’s spokesman declined to comment in advance of Monday’s announcement.
The Brown campaign on Tuesday picked up an endorsement from an association of trial lawyers. The Maryland Association for Justice Political Action Committee said it interviewed all potential candidates before selecting Brown for its endorsement. The group can bring considerable fundraising prowess. Since 2010, the organization and its PAC have together donated $72,750 directly to candidates, records show. Political observers said that the group is capable of drawing other donors to campaign.
Other Republicans considering a campaign for governor include Blaine Young, Frederick County Commission president, and Daniel Bongino, the 2012 Republican nominee for U.S. Senate.