The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Laura Neuman leaves Maryland governor’s race, backs Franchot

Neuman was the only woman seeking the Democratic nomination in the crowded primary.

The Maryland State House. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

Laura Neuman, the only woman in the crowded Democratic primary for Maryland governor, is dropping out of the race and throwing her support behind state Comptroller Peter Franchot, the Franchot campaign announced Thursday.

Neuman, a former Republican Anne Arundel County executive who switched parties in the last decade, announced a bid for governor in January, but never filed paperwork with the Board of Elections. Her decision to withdraw comes on the eve of Friday’s candidate-filing deadline.

“I want to thank the many supporters across the state who have invited me into their homes, shared their hopes with me, and worked to advance our vision for Maryland,” Neuman said in a statement. "I entered the gubernatorial race because I believe that every Marylander deserves access to opportunities to thrive, regardless of where their story starts.”

Neuman said she decided to back Franchot and his running mate Monique Anderson-Walker because “they share my commitment to delivering positive, lasting changes that improve the quality of life for all Marylanders … I know that Peter and Monique will bring the executive experience needed to lead Maryland into a more equitable and prosperous chapter.”

Neuman, an entrepreneur, publicly announced her bid just days before the January deadline for campaign finance filing and at the time, she reported raising $109,000 in a three-week span. But her campaign never really gained momentum.

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Neuman is the second Democrat to withdraw after a short-lived campaign. Mike Rosenbaum, a Baltimore business owner, dropped out in November after a six-month run.

Franchot, who styles himself as an “independent Democrat,” said he was honored to receive Neuman’s endorsement, calling her “a champion for working families and an advocate for women’s justice.”

He said he plans to include Neuman on the campaign trail.

“I am excited to campaign alongside Laura and discuss the local issues and solutions-based leadership needed to get results that people can see and feel,” he said in a statement.

As of Thursday, 10 Democrats, four Republicans and one Libertarian have filed for the July primary election.