In about six months, Maryland primary voters will hit the polls to narrow the fields for all state- and county-elected offices in the 2014 gubernatorial election.
Maryland’s primary will fall on June 24, three months earlier than past cycles when the primary was held in September. Early voting will run June 12-19. Maryland’s general election will be Nov. 4.
Candidates have until Feb. 25 to file with the Maryland Board of Elections but with the earlier primary, most races already boast crowded fields.
Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) approaches the end of his second term and because of term limits he cannot seek a third term.
Among Democrats vying for his job are Del. Heather Mizeur (Dist. 20), Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, Baltimore teacher Ralph Jaffe and Charles U. Smith — a newcomer to the race who filed in late December.
Mizeur is running with the Rev. Delman Coates of Prince George’s County. Brown’s running mate is Howard County Executive Kenneth S. Ulman. Gansler chose Del. Jolene Ivey (Dist. 47) as his running mate. Jaffe’s ticket is rounded out by his sister Freda Jaffe and Smith has chosen Clarence Tucker as his lieutenant governor candidate.
Republican candidates include Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Del. Ronald A. George (Dist. 30), former political action committee leader Charles Lollar, Baltimore businessman Brian Vaeth and Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan.
Vaeth and Craig are the only GOP candidates to have chosen running mates. Craig is joined on his ticket by Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Rico (Dist. 37B). Vaeth is joined by Duane Gerald Davis, a man known for using a toilet to stage a protest on the lawn of the Baltimore County Court House.
With Gansler running for governor, at least four legislators — all Democrats — are campaigning for attorney general.
From Montgomery County’s District 16 are Sen. Brian E. Frosh and Del. C. William Frick.
Frosh chairs the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee, the committee that handles legislation such as the repeal of the death penalty, same-sex marriage and gun control. Frick has served two terms in the House and sits on its Ways and Means Committee.
Also in the race are Del. Aisha N. Braveboy (Dist. 25), who chairs the Legislative Black Caucus, and Del. Jon S. Cardin (Dist. 11), nephew of U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D).
Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D), a former Montgomery County delegate, is seeking a third term. Republican William H. Campbell is the only other declared candidate.
Campbell is vice chairman of the NASA Advisory Council’s Audit, Finance and Analysis Committee and, according to his campaign website, a member of the American Society of Military Comptrollers.
All 47 Senate seats and 141 House seats are up for election in 2014.
Other than the attorney general and governor races, only two Montgomery County incumbents have said they are seeking higher office in 2014.
Dels. Susan C. Lee (D-Dist. 16) of Bethesda and Luiz R.S. Simmons (D-Dist. 17) of Rockville are running for Senate in their districts.
Of the remaining delegates and senators only one, Del. Sam Arora (D-Dist. 19) of Silver Spring, has announced he will not seek re-election.
Challengers have announced plans to run in all eight Montgomery districts, but so far only two challengers are Republicans, Robin Ficker and his son Flynn Ficker.
In District 15, Robin Ficker is running for the Senate and Flynn Ficker is running for the House.
Montgomery County voters will have the incumbent, his predecessor and a county councilman to choose from when they pick the next executive.
County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) is seeking a third term; he also served on the County Council from 1986 to 2002.
Leggett faces primary challenges from former County Executive Douglas M. Duncan and Councilman Philip M. Andrews (Dist. 3).
Duncan served three terms as executive before making a run for governor in 2006. He withdrew from that race, citing a battle with depression.
Andrews has served on the council since 1998; District 3 includes portions of Gaithersburg, and Rockville.
With the exception of Andrews and Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring, who resigned effective this Friday, the incumbents — all Democrats — have said they will seek re-election.
The four at-large members — George L. Leventhal, Marc B. Elrich and Hans Riemer, all of Takoma Park, and Nancy Floreen of Garrett Park — will be challenged by Central Committeewoman Vivian Malloy (D) of Olney and Beth Daly (D) of Dickerson.
In the districts, Andrews’ seat is drawing attention. Gaithersburg Mayor Sidney A. Katz said he is considering a run, and Gaithersburg City Councilman Ryan Spiegel said he is running.
Neda Bolourian (D) has filed to run in District 2 against Council President Craig L. Rice (D).
In District 5, Terrill North (D) of Takoma Park, who initially planned to run at large, is running against Evan Glass (D), chairman of the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board. Others could jump in the race. Del. Tom Hucker (D-Dist. 20) of Silver Spring and school board member Christopher S. Barclay both confirmed they are interested.
In the interim, the council plans to appoint someone to Ervin’s seat.