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Ruppersberger bows out of gubernatorial race

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, the six-term Baltimore County Democrat, will forego a run for Maryland governor and instead seek a seventh term in Congress.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, the former-Baltimore County Executive thanked Marylanders who encouraged him to run for top state job in 2014.

“I will run for re-election as a member of the House of Representatives to continue my work on behalf of my district and my country,” Ruppersberger wrote in a statement. “I have worked to create jobs, protect veterans and seniors from dangerous budget cuts and ensure our communities get the federal resources they need. As ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, I have oversight over many national security issues, which has a direct impact on Maryland businesses and families.

“I will also continue to push for change in Washington.  More than ever, our national government needs moderate voices and officials who put common sense before politics. I hope the recent bipartisan budget deal can be a first step toward compromise on larger issues such as tax and entitlement reform as well as long-term deficit reduction. I will ask Second District voters to allow me to continue my work on these and other critical issues facing our nation, and to be a strong voice for the people I am honored to represent.”

In November, Ruppersberger confirmed he was still looking at the race and said he believed he could shake up the Democratic primary.

“I think I would,” he said at the time, adding that business leaders encouraged him to run.

He said at the time that he might not make a decision before the filing deadline in February.

In his statement Wednesday, Ruppersberger said that encouragement “made me think long and hard about this choice.”

Typical of past years in contested Democratic primaries, Ruppersberger did not endorse a candidate in the governor’s race.

“I will closely monitor how the candidates intend to strengthen the region and I look forward to working with the next Governor to implement those plans,” he said.