UPDATE: General Wesley Clark corrects Maryland Juice's article below, noting that Rosapepe did not support Howard Dean in 2004. Also, in the comments to this post, Prince George's Councilmember Mel Franklin appears to offer both a correction to this post and an early endorsement of Senator Rosapepe for Comptroller. Here is an excerpt: "Senator Rosapepe was a strong Clark supporter, not a Dean supporter... If the Comptroller position becomes available, Jim is definitely the right person to fill it."
Okay, I'll keep this short and sweet. I'm outing Maryland Senator Jim Rosapepe as a candidate for 2014 Comptroller. Now, I don't normally like to engage in unattributed news (*snicker*), but multiple very credible sources are now confirming that the moustached man from Prince George's has told them directly, that he is indeed running for Comptroller in 2014 -- obvious caveat: if Franchot runs for Governor.
From what I can gather, Senator Rosapepe is conducting a whirlwind of meetings with political movers and shakers from around the state. One source noted that Rosapepe's interest in the office shouldn't be surprising, because he's previously flirted with the idea of a bid for Comptroller.
Senator Jim Rosapepe, aged 60, represents Maryland's District 21 in the State Senate. He previously served in the House of Delegates, before joining the Clinton Administration as U.S. Ambassador to Romania.
Here is a little bit of politico-historical context, if you want to see a snapshot of the political terrain when Rosapepe first won his Democratic Primary for State Senate. This is an excerpt from Daily Kos user Sharon in MD in 2006:
State Sen. John A. Giannetti Jr. is facing a tough re-election battle on September 12th. After blocking the assault weapons ban in Maryland, he has made himself the target of many progressives in his district and throughout the state, as well as a target of Stop the NRA, the group started by Sarah Brady to stiffen gun laws throughout the country. Giannetti is being challenged by a former Delegate and Ambassador to Romania, Jim Rosapepe.Rosapepe ultimately won the September 2006 Democratic Primary, but had to face Giannetti again in the November General Election, when Giannetti switched parties:
Within the last week, Giannetti has come under fire for "overstating the size of political contributions made to his campaign since 2005, artificially boosting his fundraising total by at least $30,000, according to campaign finance reports."
This combined with his stance on gun control may be enough to tip the scales in Rosapepe's favor.
Jim Rosapepe may be a familiar name to Howard Dean supporters in Maryland as he supported the Dean candidacy in 2004.
District 21 includes portions of Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties and includes College Park, home to the University of Maryland.
"A Message From Senator Giannetti:
"By now you have likely heard that I have switched my party registration to the Republican Party. There will undoubtedly be those who will question the reasons for or wisdom of this change; let me be up front--it's all about public service, and my hope, as a dedicated public official with a record of getting things done, to be able to continue to serve my constituents and complete the tasks I have started. My switch of parties gives me that opportunity. In the next few days, if all events fall in line, I will be able to appear on the November 7th ballot and thus allow all of my constituents--Democrats, Republicans, and Independents--to voice their collective opinion on my record of service over the past four years.
As reported by the Gazette, the collective opinion on Giannetti's "record of service" was as follows:
"I have nothing bad to say about the Democratic party. It has been my political party for 24 years, and the party is filled with excellent, dedicated elected officials who work hard for their constituents and get things done for the state of Maryland."
Rosapepe of College Park, a former University of Maryland regent and a former District 21 delegate, was swept into office with 69 percent of the vote, with Giannetti taking 31 percent, based on unofficial returns.And with that, we proclaim that Senator Jim Rosapepe has joined the early-building crowd of politicos in the 2014 Comptroller's race.
That's all I got. If you want more, use Google or read our previous coverage of the 2014 Comptroller's Race. P.S. Mr. Rosapepe, you better not back out of the race now -- that would be cheating the system!