Harford County Executive David R. Craig, a potential Republican candidate for governor in 2014, is going out of his way to get to know some of the Maryland press corps.
Craig this week e-mailed invitations for “a meet and greet and casual conversation over burgers and beer for Maryland news and political bloggers.”
The confab is scheduled next Friday at the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis — an ironic choice, given the Maryland Democratic Party leases office space in part of the building.
Craig’s paperless invitation promises “great conversation about state politics, Harford County, 2014, Baseball, BRAC and much more.”
The governorship of Maryland remains an uphill climb for any Republican, given that party registration favors Democrats by a 2-to-1 margin in the state. Former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) lost his rematch last year with Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) by more than 14 percentage points.
But Craig has compiled a solid record as a county executive and is getting increasing mentions as a possible contender in what looks like a wide open race to replace O’Malley, who is term-limited.
Larry Hogan, a former Ehrlich Cabinet secretary who conducted an exploratory bid for governor last cycle, remains in the mix for 2014. Hogan, a real-estate broker, now runs Change Maryland, an organization that provides a platform for some continued visibility.
The Democratic field could be very crowded. Among those gearing up for bids: Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler; Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown; Comptroller Peter Franchot and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.