The Washington Post

Michael Steele ‘looking at’ run for governor of Maryland

In this Nov. 2, 2010 file photo, Michael Steele speaks in Washington. (Cliff Owen/Associated Press)

Michael Steele, a former Republican National Committee chairman and former lieutenant governor of Maryland, is weighing a 2014 gubernatorial bid, he said Monday.

“We’re looking at it,” Steele, who is now an MSNBC contributor, told host Chuck Todd on his program “The Daily Rundown” on the network. Steele said he doesn’t feel that he needs to make a decision until the end of the year.

His comments came on the same day that Harford County Executive David R. Craig (R) became the first major Republican candidate to announce his bid to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). Also Monday, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), who announced his gubernatorial bid last month, publicly unveiled Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D) as his running mate.

Steele, who lost a U.S. Senate bid in 2006, acknowledged that Maryland is “a tough state” for a Republican, but he suggested there may be an opening because residents have been “taxed to the hilt.”

Steele did not immediately return a phone call from The Washington Post.

If he runs, he could join a crowded Republican primary. At least a half dozen GOP candidates have expressed interest in the June 2014 primary.

Steele served a single term as lieutenant governor after being elected in 2002 on the ticket with former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R). Ehrlich lost to O’Malley in 2006 and then again in 2010.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

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