ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland elections officials say a watchdog group founded by Republican gubernatorial nominee Larry Hogan engaged in exploratory activities for his benefit as he mulled a run for office.

But elections board staff said Thursday that they are not authorized under state elections laws to issue civil citations or take further action in response to complaints that Change Maryland engaged in campaign finance activity on behalf of Hogan without making the proper disclosures.

Election staff noted that their authority under current state law is limited to candidates and campaign finance activities and does not extend to exploratory committees.

Among those who complained about Hogan’s relationship with Change Maryland were two of his GOP primary opponents, Del. Ron George and Harford County Executive David Craig.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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