- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot said Tuesday he won’t run for governor in 2014, and he plans to seek re-election as comptroller.

Mr. Franchot, a Democrat who has often been a voice of dissent on the state’s three-member Board of Public Works in his six years as the state’s tax collector, made the announcement in a letter to supporters.

“It is no secret that in recent months, I have given thought to running for governor,” Mr. Franchot wrote. “I am humbled by the extraordinary support that my prospective campaign received in every corner of our state, and I am now more convinced than ever that there is a shared desire among Marylanders — irrespective of ideology or party affiliation — for an honest conversation of the fiscal and economic challenges that still lie ahead.”

Mr. Franchot, 65, has often been at odds with Gov. Martin O’Malley, a fellow Democrat who also has a seat on the state’s Board of Public Works, which approves most state contracts for than $200,000. The comptroller’s criticism of state spending practices in the aftermath of the recession and the push to expand gambling in the state also has put him at loggerheads with other leading Democrats in Annapolis.

The comptroller wrote that he relished the role of serving as an independent voice on the board, whether by opposing spending he considers wasteful or pushing to hold the line on state debt when the state’s economy remains fragile.

“These are neither Democratic nor Republican priorities — these are Maryland priorities that are rooted in sheer common sense,” Mr. Franchot wrote.

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown is exploring a run for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014. Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Howard County Executive Kenneth S. Ulman also are weighing bids. Delegate Heather R. Mizeur, Montgomery Democrat, also has said she is considering a run.

Mr. O’Malley, who is nearly halfway through his second term, is term limited. The comptroller’s office does not have a term limit. If Mr. Franchot is re-elected as comptroller in 2014, he would serve his third term in that office.

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