Md. delegate plans to run for governor

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Del. Ron George said Monday he will seek to be the GOP’s candidate for governor in 2014, adding to a pool of Republicans who are eyeing a potential run.

George said in an interview that he has made up his mind to run after much thought and encouragement from supporters. He said he plans to announce his candidacy June 5 in Annapolis.

“We’ve reached that decision now,” said George, who represents an Anne Arundel County district that includes Annapolis.

George, who began serving in the state House in 2007, is in his second term in the Maryland House of Delegates. The 59-year-old small-business owner said he wants to emphasize economic development in the state, particularly in Baltimore. George, a jewelry store owner, also said he wants to focus on being economically competitive with neighboring Virginia. He said Maryland needs to increase its tax base, and can’t simply continue raising taxes.

Several other Maryland Republicans also are eyeing a potential bid to succeed two-term Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley. Harford County Executive David Craig is seriously considering it, his political director, Josh Wolf, said Monday. Wolf said Craig plans to make a decision in June.

Dan Bongino, a former U.S. Secret Service agent who unsuccessfully ran against incumbent U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin in November, said Monday he is looking at a number of different options.

“Certainly, governor is one of them,” Bongino said, adding that he is weighing a number of variables and remains undecided.

Blaine Young, the president of the Board of County Commissioners in Frederick County, said Monday he is waiting to see what Bongino and former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele decide to do before following through with becoming a candidate. If neither of them decides to run, Young said he would seriously consider running, and he is actively campaigning and raising money.

Steele, an MSNBC political analyst and a past Republican National Committee chairman, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Larry Hogan, who was a member of former Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s cabinet, has been mentioned as a potential candidate. Hogan did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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