Ruppersberger continues to eye Maryland governor’s race, he says

Brian Witte/AP - U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger is still considering running for governor of Maryland.

OCEAN CITY, Md. — U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) said Friday that he is still considering running for governor of Maryland and decried the “negativity” that has emerged between the two leading candidates.

“Whatever I do, I’m going to make my decision in the fall,” Ruppersberger said in an interview here, where he is attending the annual summer conference of the Maryland Association of Counties.

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If he doesn’t run himself, Ruppersberger, a former Baltimore County executive, said he is likely to endorse another candidate based on “their ability to run and their issues,” including economic development.

Ruppersberger said he planned to meet Friday with Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), who declared his candidacy for governor in May and is attending the same conference, which is a draw for state-level officials as well as county leaders.

Ruppersberger said he also met recently with Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), another leading Democratic contender for governor. Gansler plans to officially announce his bid next month.

Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) has also entered the race.

Brown and Gansler have sparred this week over a story published by The Washington Post on Monday night that reported comments Gansler made about Brown at a secretly recorded meeting last month with campaign volunteers in Annapolis.

In the recording, Gansler said Brown had few accomplishments and was seeking election based on the fact that he would be the first black governor of Maryland. The Brown campaign has said the comments were belittling.

“This negativity out there that’s started already, I don’t believe in that,” Ruppersberger said.

The entrance of Ruppersberger, who is well-known in the Baltimore region, could reshape what promises to be a very competitive Democratic primary. He acknowledged one challenge to running is that he is not as well known in the Washington region, where television advertising is far more expensive.

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