Mizeur makes her run for Md. governor official as she files for office and for public financing

Maryland Del. Heather R. Mizeur announces her running mate, Delman Coates, during a rally last month. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff)

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Heather R. Mizeur and her running mate, Delman Coates, officially became 2014 candidates late Tuesday afternoon as they filed their paperwork with the State Board of Elections in Annapolis.

Mizeur, a Montgomery County delegate, also filed a notice of her intent to participate in the state’s public financing system during the primary, following through on a pledge to become the first candidate for Maryland governor do to so in two decades.

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The moment was decidedly low-key and without suspense. Mizeur announced she was running back in July, and she named Coates, a Prince George’s County pastor, as her choice for the lieutenant governor’s race, at a rally last month.

Only one campaign aide, one reporter and a few elections officials looked on Tuesday. But Mizeur, who clasped hands with Coates when they were done, said it was still a big deal.

“This is the official moment that we’ve been building toward,” she said. “I’m very proud to have my name appear next to Delman’s on the ballot.”

If elected, Mizeur would become Maryland’s first woman governor and the first who is openly gay.

The entire filing process took about 15 minutes, a little longer than it would have otherwise because of Mizeur’s campaign-financing decision. An election official took some time to explain some logistics of the system.

In exchange for agreeing to limit her overall spending on the primary, Mizeur will be eligible for state matching funds on contributions of $250 or less.

Candidates typically “announce” their campaigns weeks or months before they file with the elections board. Unlike Mizeur, some candidates actively seek media attention to capture the moment they become official.

“This campaign has always been less about pomp than circumstance,” she said.

Among other high-profile hopefuls, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) and his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D), filed their paperwork in September. That event took on some added drama because of an unrelated bomb scare outside the elections board’s offices in Annapolis.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), and his running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s), have yet to become an official ticket.

Two other lower-profile tickets have filed: Democrats Ralph Jaffe and Freeda Jaffe of Baltimore County; and Republicans Brian C. Vaeth and Duane G. Davis, both of Baltimore County.

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