By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot takes himself out of the governor’s race.

Political reporter Pat Warren has more on Franchot’s reasons for not running.

Democrat Peter Franchot has made a name for himself for not necessarily towing the party line, and while voters like him, the politics could sink him.

In April, Comptroller Franchot told WJZ he was leaning toward a run for governor.

“I will take a look at it because the economy is really, really soft and we need more fiscal strength,” he said in April.

Now he says he will seek re-election as comptroller instead.

“We had a big poll that just came in out of the field last week that showed me with very high name id, very high favorable, right up with the other candidates—Lieutenant Governor Brown and others. But you know it’s an unpredictable race,” Franchot said.

When the governor and General Assembly imposed a tax hike on Marylanders this year, Comptroller Franchot said no.

He publicly protested the governor’s plan to cut real estate exemptions, and he opposes any plan Governor Martin O’Malley has to raise taxes on gasoline.

“I’m just concentrating on what works. I could care less whether it’s Republican or Democratic,” Franchot said.

But the Democratic Party, particularly the governor, does care. And in a primary expected to include his lieutenant governor and the attorney general, O’Malley’s influence can go a long way.

Franchot admits he and O’Malley do not have a good relationship.

“Right, but it’s a cordial relationship,” Franchot said. “I think you’ll notice that there isn’t a lot of personal attacks going back and forth anymore. There is obviously prior history.”

And at the end of the day, Franchot says being comptroller plays to his strengths.

“I’m certainly not afraid to stick up for the taxpayer,” he said.

In addition to Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman is on a short list of potential candidates.

Governor O’Malley reaches his term limit in 2014.


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