- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — With hours left for candidates to file to run in Maryland’s primary, Attorney General Doug Gansler still did not have an opponent, and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Brian Murphy announced a new running mate Tuesday.

Whether anyone would challenge Gansler, the Democratic incumbent, was one of the biggest questions in the waning hours before Tuesday’s 9 p.m. filing deadline.

Mr. Murphy, who is a long shot against former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich for the GOP nomination, filed Tuesday with his choice for lieutenant governor. Mike Ryman, a retired federal investigator, is Murphy’s second pick. His first choice, former state delegate Carmen Amedori, left the ticket to seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Democrat seeking a fifth term, has a half dozen Democratic challengers in the primary and more than a dozen Republicans seeking the GOP nomination. But the contenders face an uphill battle against the long-serving Maryland senator.

Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, has two political unknowns challenging him in his primary, J.P. Cusick and Ralph Jaffe. George Owings, a former state delegate who had been a member of Ehrlich’s cabinet, announced last week he was dropping out of the Democratic primary to recover from surgery.

In Maryland’s closely watched 1st District congressional race, Republican state Sen. Andrew Harris is facing Rob Fisher, an Eastern Shore businessman, for the GOP’s nomination to run against Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil. Kratovil defeated Harris in a very close race in 2008. Libertarian Richard Davis and Jack Wilson, who is unaffiliated, also are running for the seat.

Comptroller Peter Franchot has yet to have a challenger emerge for the Democratic primary. Three Republicans, William Henry Campbell, Armand Girard and Brendan Madigan, are seeking the GOP’s nomination to go up against Franchot.

Maryland’s House of Delegates will have a number of new faces after the election. At least 15 delegates are running for other offices, mostly in the state Senate. Seven other delegates have either retired or moved to another job.

Maryland’s primary is Sept. 14.