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Ruppersberger confirms possible interest in 2014 bid for Maryland governor

U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), right, and U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) at Lexington Market in Baltimore on Nov. 5, 2012. (Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

The rumblings about U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) running for Maryland governor grew louder Friday with confirmation from the congressman himself that he is considering the 2014 race.

“I’m going to look at it, I’m going to explore it,” Ruppersberger said in an interview posted Friday on the liberal blog Maryland Juice.

A spokeswoman for Ruppersberger confirmed as much this week, but the former Baltimore County executive elaborated some on his thinking in the interview.

“I have a lot of friends of mine, a lot of people from all sectors who have come to me and said, ‘Dutch, will you consider running for governor?’ ” Ruppersberger said. “I said, ‘I love my job, but I also love my state.’ ... I said, ‘Well, I’ll look at it.’ ”

Ruppersberger noted several times how much he is enjoying his job in Congress, and also said he is so busy on the Hill that he cannot spend much time right now thinking about a potential gubernatorial bid.

The entrance of Ruppersberger, who is well-known in the Baltimore region, could reshape what already promises to be a very competitive Democratic primary.

The two leading hopefuls — Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown — both hail from the Washington region.

Brown, a former Prince George’s delegate who has the backing of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), is set to officially announce his bid May 10. Gansler, who has amassed far more money than anyone else in the field, is a former state’s attorney from Montgomery County.

Other Democrats looking at the race include Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and Del. Heather Mizeur (Montgomery).

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

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