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The last of the big-name candidates for Maryland governor has officially started his campaign. Voters in the state could be forgiven if they thought attorney general Doug Gansler had already kicked-off his run.
Gansler toured Maryland all summer long, holding issue forums and meeting with volunteers. It was at one of those meetings where he made his controversial comment that his top rival for the Democratic nomination — Lt .Gov. Anthony Brown — is relying on his race to get elected.
But during all of those meetings and forums, Gansler never formally announced his campaign. Today he finally did so in Rockville, across the street from the courthouse where he served as Montgomery County state's attorney before heading to Annapolis.
"With the greatest humility, profundity, and love of the state of Maryland... Today, I announce my candidacy for the state of Maryland," Gansler said.
Gansler is openly positioning himself as the outsider candidate in the Democratic primary, as many of the state's top Democrats have already backed Brown, who's running on the mantle of Gov. Martin O'Malley's time on office. Gansler agreed with many of O'Malley's policies, but not on taxes, and that shows the biggest difference between the attorney general and the lieutenant governor.
"The past seven years, Maryland has seen annual billion-dollar deficits, while across the river in Virginia, they're putting a billion dollars in a rainy day fund," Gansler said. "We've seen 40 consecutive tax increases. Businesses, wealth, philanthropy, and retirees fleeing to neighboring states."
Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur is also running for the Democratic nomination. The party's vastly higher number of registered voters will make the Democratic nominee the favorite in the general election.