Thursday, August 18, 2011

2014 Gubernatorial Race // All Democrats for Marriage Equality

Yesterday, Chevy Chase Mayor David Lublin sent me a Facebook invitation to an upcoming Equality Maryland fundraiser. After reading through the event details, I decided to create a standardized test question for our readers. Here goes!

DIRECTIONS: Look at the image below and answer the question that follows.

QUESTION: Which of the following statements is more true of the text circled in red above?
  1. The text describes Maryland's four statewide officials and randomly includes the Howard County Executive.
  2. The text describes Maryland's Governor, along with the four people most widely rumored to be vying for his job.
If you guessed choice 2, you just stumbled upon Maryland Juice's 2014 Gubernatorial Race Preview! 

But first, let's not underestimate the significance of this event. The last time we had a contested Democratic Gubernatorial Primary,  it was 2006, and Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley were facing off. At the time, both men preferred civil unions as the legislative vehicle for advancing same-sex couples' rights. What a difference five years can make. Today, the Governor is treating marriage equality as an "administrative priority" in the coming session, and the four most frequently mentioned gubernatorial candidates appear to be on board for full marriage equality. With that point duly noted, let's continue onto the candidates....

Signs of Life in the Gubernatorial Primary

Caveat: We are still 1,031 days from the Democratic Primary for Governor, so there remains ample time for the political terrain to shift. New candidates may emerge, and it is way too early to draw any meaningful conclusions from the information out there. Nevertheless, the race appears to be developing quickly and predictably so far.

We will discuss possible dark horse candidates in a future post, but at this very early stage, the expected field of Democrats includes:

Lieutenant Governor; Age 49; former Delegate, Prince George's County

The Washington Times predicts a divisive race, but had this to say:
Mr. Brown — a former two-term delegate — has worked closely with former colleagues on legislation....

Mr. Brown’s work could bring him valuable connections and endorsements....

Comptroller; Age 63; former Delegate, Montgomery County

The Towson Patch recently caught Mr. Franchot stumping for votes in Baltimore:
Franchot is considered to be already running for governor in 2014. Some have said his interest in the lack of air conditioning in classrooms in Baltimore City and Baltimore and Garrett Counties is, in part, a set up for that campaign....
Attorney General; Age 48; former State's Attorney, Montgomery County

Months ago, Maryland Reporter flagged Gansler's aggressive fundraising:
Gansler is also heading out of state for fundraising events: Philadelphia in June, Boston in July, Denver in the fall....

County Executive; Age 37; former Councilmember, Howard County

Tales of Two Cities, An Ellicott City/Columbia-based blog, had this to say about Ulman:
Probably the worst kept secret in HoCo loco politico circles is the fact that Ken Ulman, our newly reelected term limited county executive, is laying the groundwork for a run for governor. The group was divided on his chances but some felt that having Ken in the governors mansion would be good for HoCo. The last county exec to take a shot at the top state job was Chuck Ecker in 1998. Chuck was bested in the Repub primary by Ellen Saurerbrey. Ellen went on to lose a close race with the Dem, Parris Glendening.
Maryland Juice also caught this invitation for a Ken Ulman reception in Ocean City, Maryland. What is a Howard County Executive doing raising money on the Shore?

That's it for now, but rest assured, there will be lots more to say as this race develops. We'll be back with some commentary on potential dark horse candidates and other aspects of this race soon. 

P.S. If we forgot any candidates, please drop a note in the comments!


  1. I like that you mentioned Ken Ulman... I think he's been a little ignored in early coverage of the governor's race. I could be biased but I think he would be a very solid candidate for governor. He's wildly popular in Howard County -- it's pretty much heresy to say anything negative about him. He's done a lot of things there... ie., created a public option for uninsured residents (Healthy Howard) and plenty of environmental initiatives(new recycling program and now county composting). Not to mention, Howard County is a swing county (by MD standards) so I think he would be able attract support from Republican and independent voters as well.

    Another candidate I've seen mentioned around is former Baltimore County executive Jim Smith? I can't say I know much about him.

    Prof Todd Eberly's analysis of the race here is probably worth reading for anyone that's interested in the race already.

  2. I definitely think Ken Ulman is interested in running for Governor... but he's also the President of the MD Association of Counties, and his fundraiser is occurring during their summer conference in Ocean City (as to why he'd be having an event there)

  3. Thanks for the follow-up, folks! I figured MACO would be Ulman's excuse. :)

    Nevertheless, seems like he's working hard at raising money everywhere (for a termed out Exec).

    I'll have to get our HoCo friends to give the rest of us some more info on what Ken Ulman's story is....