Republican Larry Hogan plans to formally launch his campaign for Maryland governor on Jan. 21 at an Annapolis-area crab house, he said Saturday.
Hogan, a Cabinet official under former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), signaled in November that he intended to enter the GOP primary early this year.
Hogan, who leads the government watchdog group Change Maryland, will join a field that includes several candidates who have been running for months.
Harford County Executive David R. Craig, the first Republican to announce his candidacy, launched his campaign in June. The GOP field also includes Del. Ronald A. George (R-Anne Arundel) and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar.
Late this week, Hogan, 57, registered a political committee, Larry Hogan for Governor, with the Board of Elections that will allow him to start raising money.
Hogan, an Anne Arundel County real-estate broker, served as appointments secretary under Ehrlich, the only Republican governor Maryland has elected in a generation. In that capacity, he oversaw the appointment of hundreds of people to government posts and state boards and commissions.
Change Maryland has been critical of policy decisions made by the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), including a string of tax increases.
The organization recently published a report questioning the relationship between O’Malley and state contractors that made large campaign contributions to the Democratic Governors Association, a group O’Malley previously led.
Hogan said that he has not settled on a running mate and would not be announcing a pick at the Jan. 21 event. Candidates have until Feb. 25 to file for office. By that point, they must name their lieutenant governor candidate.
A group of legislators interested in Hogan’s candidacy plan to meet with him this week.