Citing a concern over fundraising and his chances in a general election, Frederick County Board of Commissioners President Blaine R. Young has ended his pursuit of the Republican nomination for governor, and will endorse former congressional candidate Charles Lollar for the nomination.
He will announce in January whether he plans to pursue the new office of Frederick County executive in 2014.
Young, who drew some buzz by collecting nearly $450,000 when the first fundraising figures were announced in January, said he believes he would have had a decent chance of prevailing in the Republican primary but would have stood little chance in a general election in which he’d been told he’d need to raise $12 million to 15 million.
“I have no clue where I would’ve gotten that money,” Young said Monday.
He also had concerns about how a contested primary would affect the chances of the Republican candidate in a state that has elected only one Republican governor in the past 40 years.
Young asked supporters at an event Saturday in Frederick to consider supporting Lollar, whose positions Young said are very similar to his own.
Lollar, a former Marine who ran for Maryland’s Fifth Congressional District against Democrat Steny Hoyer in 2010, plans to officially announce his candidacy for governor during a series of events in early September.
Harford County Executive David Craig and Anne Arundel County Del. Ronald A. George (Dist. 30) have officially announced their candidacies for the Republican nomination, while former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan have also been speculated about as possible candidates.
Lollar spokesman Mike Phillips said Monday the campaign is excited about having Young’s support and looks forward to working with him.
Young brings followers and experience as the head of Frederick’s county commissioners, and is tuned in to what’s going on in Annapolis, Phillips said.
And there’s also the matter of Young’s fundraising prowess.
“With his supporters comes finances, of course, and that’s what every candidate needs,” Phillips said.
Phillips and Young both said they were confident that many of Young’s followers would move to the Lollar camp.
Young said Lollar has asked him to be a surrogate speaker, to make appearances when Lollar is already scheduled somewhere else.
“I’m going to take any position in his campaign that he asks me to,” Young said.
He’ll make a decision by January whether to pursue the Frederick County executive seat in 2014. The county’s voters approved a transition to charter government in 2012’s election.
The county’s charter prohibits the executive from holding another job, meaning Young would have to divest his share of Frederick’s Yellow Cab company.
Young said he should know by the end of the year about the result of ongoing negotiations with a potential buyer for Yellow Cab.
Young would also have to give up his popular afternoon radio show on WFMD in Frederick, during which he holds forth on all things Maryland-related, and on which Phillips said the Lollar campaign is looking forward to Young’s support.
Young said he initially got into the race looking to win the primary and making that his political swan song, with little hope of winning the general election.
But he came to realize the party needed someone who could make more inroads in areas such as Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore city where his following didn’t extend.
Young said he believes Lollar can make those gains to give the party hope of doing well in the general election.
Phillips said the campaign knows it’s got plenty of work to do.
“This is a marathon. It’s a long time until June,” he said.