The Republican field of candidates for Maryland governor grew this week, while the Democratic field stayed static thanks to the decision of one prominent Democrat not to run.
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger says he will not seek the Democratic nomination for governor and instead will see re-election to his current job. Ruppersberger has represented Maryland's 2nd District, which now consists of the city of Baltimore and much of its suburbs, since 2003. He is his party's ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee.
In a statement, Ruppersberger thanked those who encouraged him to run for governor.
His decision leaves the Democratic field with three candidates: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler, and Del. Heather Mizeur.
Earlier this week, Republican Larry Hogan started his campaign for the GOP nomination, though his kick-off event had to be postponed until next week because of the winter weather.
Four other Republicans are also running. The field includes Hartford County Executive David Craig, Anne Arundel County Del. Ron George, businessman and retired firefighter Brian Vaeth, and Cintas Corporation executive Charles Lollar.
The primary election in Maryland is just over five months away.