Harford County Executive David R. Craig became the first top-tier Republican to file the required paperwork to run for Maryland governor during a swing by the State Board of Elections in Annapolis on Tuesday.

There was not much suspense involved. Craig kicked off his candidacy back in June with a statewide tour and named Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (R-Talbot) as his running mate in July. But Tuesday’s visit made the ticket’s bid official.

The GOP primary, which has been largely overshadowed by a bitter contest for the Democratic nomination, is about to get more competitive. Larry Hogan, a Cabinet official under former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), plans to enter the race this month.

Two other GOP hopefuls — Del. Ronald A. George (Anne Arundel) and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar — have also been visible on the campaign trail for months. Both George and Lollar have said they are narrowing searches for a running mate and plan to file by the Feb. 25 deadline.

Retired Baltimore City firefighter Brian Vaeth and his running mate, Baltimore County resident Duane Davis, have also filed for the GOP primary.