Gubernatorial candidate David R. Craig was off to Arizona Thursday to meet with Republican governors in an effort to win their backing for his effort to win back deep blue Maryland for the GOP in 2014.
Jim Pettit, Craig's campaign spokesman, confirmed that Craig was en route to Scottsdale for the annual gathering of the Republican Governors Association. One of the RGA's primary missions is to protect sitting Republican governors and to try to expand their ranks, but the association typically looks for assurances that challengers are viable and that their races are winnable -- a heavy lift in Democratic-dominated Maryland.
Pettit confirmed that Craig, the Harford County executive, will make a presentation at the meeting.
"David will be highlighting his elected office and managerial experience, critical skills Marylanders need from their governor to address serious problems ranging from the state's prison scandal to the botched roll out of Obamacare.," Pettit said.
Pettit said he does not know what the group might do for Craig before the June 24 primary, in which Craig is expected to face at least two opponents in Del. Ron George and Charles County business executive Charles Lollar -- with former Ehrlich administration appointments secretary Larry Hogan expected to announce his plans this weekend.
Craig's spokesman made a case that a race against either Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown or Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler -- the feuding Democratic front-runners -- is winnable.
"The Craig campaign is getting added momentum in terms of donor and volunteer support because the lieutenant governor and the attorney general are highlighting serious policy differences especially when it comes to the tax burden," Pettit said. "The 'gotcha' tone of the Democratic primary will turn off a number of voters and, combined with the fact that open seat races have traditionally helped GOP nominees in 1994 and 2002, there are clear trends working in David Craig's favor."