Former Maryland attorney general Douglas F. Gansler said Monday that he will not join the increasingly crowded field of Democrats seeking to challenge popular incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in 2018.
“At this point, I have no plans to enter the race,” Gansler, a partner in a D.C. law firm, told The Washington Post. “I’ve spent 22 years in government service, and I’m enjoying what I’m doing in the private sector and working with nonprofits.”
Gansler, who unsuccessfully challenged then-Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown for the Democratic nomination in 2014, had said for months that he was considering another gubernatorial run. He campaigned four years ago on the promise of changing the status quo in Annapolis.
Although he was an early favorite in that race, his bid was hurt by scandal — first, by allegations that he ordered state troopers to speed while driving him to routine appointments and then by photos that showed him at a beach week party with recent high school graduates.
He said Monday that there are a number of “serious candidates . . . with unique qualifications” who have entered the 2018 governor’s race, and he added that he probably would decide next year, after the February filing deadline, whom he might support.
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced his candidacy on Monday, becoming the seventh candidate to seek the Democratic nomination. The others are Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, former NAACP president Ben Jealous, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (Montgomery), tech entrepreneur Alec Ross, Baltimore attorney and former University System of Maryland Board of Regents chair James L. Shea, and Krishanti Vignarajah, a onetime policy director for Michelle Obama.
Policy consultant Maya Rockeymoore is weighing a bid as well. The primary is in June.