Two female Democratic lawmakers in Maryland, disappointed in Hillary Clinton’s presidential loss and the sudden absence of women in the state’s congressional delegation, said Thursday that they are considering statewide runs for office in 2018.
Del. Maggie L. McIntosh (Baltimore City), chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said she could be a candidate for governor or comptroller, while Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (Prince George’s) said she was looking at those offices as well and would also consider running for lieutenant governor on a Democratic ticket.
“Nothing is off the table,” said Peña-Melnyk, who lost a primary bid this year in the 4th Congressional District and spent the fall working for Clinton in Iowa.
Peña-Melnyk said it is “sad” that Maryland will have an all-male congressional delegation starting in January, with the departures of Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) and Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D), and that women are not represented in the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general or comptroller. The only woman who will remain in statewide office is Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (D), whose term ends in 2019.
Mikulski is retiring after 30 years in the Senate. Edwards ran for Mikulski’s seat and lost in the primary to Rep. Chris Van Hollen.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has expressed interest in running for a second term and has record approval ratings that will pose a high bar for any challenger.
Comptroller Peter Franchot, now in his third term, has been criticized by fellow Democrats for his close ties to Hogan. He has said he intends to run again.
Sen. Jim Rosapepe (D-Prince George’s) has also been mentioned as a possible Franchot challenger. He didn’t return a call for comment Thursday.
McIntosh, a lawmaker for 24 years, hinted that she was interested in Franchot’s job in a Facebook comment Wednesday after Sen. Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) blasted Franchot for misallocating local income-tax revenue.
An audit report that day revealed that the problem, which Franchot blamed on errant software, was more widespread than first thought. Some jurisdictions were shortchanged, while others received more than they were due.
In her comment, McIntosh posted a picture of a campaign sticker. Over it, she wrote, “What do you think Bill?”
“I have spent a good part of this fall thinking about what are my next steps,” McIntosh said in an interview Thursday. “I do think last week’s election made me dig deep and ask myself whether I should listen to several people who have encouraged me to think about statewide office.”
McIntosh, who has also been mentioned as a possible replacement for House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel), would have to give up her House seat to run for statewide office in 2018. She said she loves her role in the House and is weighing whether “it is something I am willing to forfeit.”
Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said that Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (D-Prince George’s) might consider a run for Maryland attorney general.