Businessman and Tea Party favorite Charles Lollar has officially launched his bid for the Maryland Republican gubernatorial nomination. Lollar opened his campaign in St. Mary’s County, which is home to Maryland’s first capital and, to the delight of state Republicans, one of the fastest growing counties in the state and has been growing ever more Republican in recent years.

In announcing his bid, Lollar described himself as a fiscal conservative and social libertarian, insisting he was running for governor and not priest. He promised to reach out to Democrats as well as Republicans — a necessity and not a choice in Maryland. His campaign launch and message offered echoes of Bob Ehrlich’s successful campaign in 2002.

Lollar’s emphasis of fiscal matters and his desire to sideline any discussion of social issues are both wise. Recent referendum on in-state tuition and same-sex marriage clearly suggest that Maryland is becoming more and more progressive socially. Traditional Republican Party stances against same-sex marriage and support for get-tough immigration policies are not going to work in Maryland in 2014. For the GOP to win, its candidate must run a campaign focused on the economic and regulatory health of Maryland. Recent news that Maryland is suffering from an exodus of taxpayers should bolster such a campaign.

[Continue reading Todd Eberly’s post at The FreeStater Blog.]

Todd Eberly blogs at The FreeStaterBlog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.