HAVRE de GRACE — Harford County Executive David Craig on Monday officially announced his bid to seek the GOP nomination for governor, while Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown picked Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate.
The announcements came about a year before voters from both parties will nominate candidates and about a year a half before Maryland’s 2014 election. More hopefuls are expected to join the race from both parties and potentially create crowded primaries, which are scheduled for next June.
Craig, who has served as county executive since 2005, said tax increases and fees in recent years during Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration are a reason why he is running to give Maryland voters a choice in a state government dominated by Democrats.
“It’s not working for us,” Craig told supporters near his home in Havre de Grace. “It’s not working for our cities, our towns, our counties, our farmers, our small-business people. It has forgotten us. Meanwhile, there is a political monopoly in Annapolis, and it makes government work for itself.”
Craig, who also has served as a state senator and state delegate, told reporters after his announcement that he would like to cut the state’s 6 percent sales tax to “at least 5 percent.” He also said he would like to eliminate the estate tax. Craig said Maryland taxes are driving residents away and scaring off businesses.
Republicans in statewide Maryland races face a tough challenge, because Democratic voters outnumber Republicans in the state by a 2-1 margin.