ANNAPOLIS — State Senate Minority Leader Nancy Jacobs said Thursday she is stepping down as leader of her party's Senate delegation to consider running for higher office.
Mrs. Jacobs, Harford Republican, said she will remain in office during next year's session, but is leaving her leadership role to better focus on possible runs for governor, Harford County executive or Congress against Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.
Mr. Ruppersberger, a Democrat, will be up for re-election next year, while the governor and Harford County executive's seats will next be contested in 2014.
"While I'm considering them all, I may not do any," said Mrs. Jacobs, who joined the Senate in 1999. "But I'm going to be extremely busy, so it wouldn't be fair to our caucus to remain as leader."
The GOP's 12-member Senate delegation elected Mrs. Jacobs as leader at the start of this year's regular session, after then-Minority Leader Allan H. Kittleman, Howard Republican, stepped down over concerns that his support of a same-sex-marriage bill would cause a distraction among members.
Sen. George C. Edwards, Garrett Republican, praised Mrs. Jacobs's performance, saying she helped stabilize a delegation that elected a new leader and new whip this year.
He said she will continue to be an asset for the delegation as long as she remains in office.
"She did a good job as leader, and she's very knowledgeable and involved on issues," Mr. Edwards said. "We'll wait to see who might want what, but we'll get it in line and we'll be fine."
Mrs. Jacobs, who represents sections of Cecil and Harford counties, said many constituents have encouraged her to seek higher office and said that her decision will be based largely upon how her district is redrawn in this year's state legislative redistricting.
Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, will propose a new map of the state's 47 districts later this year, and the General Assembly will consider it during its regular session starting in January.
"If they take Cecil County away from me, I'm going to think about it very hard," she said.
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