By Pat Warren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — State Sen. Richard Madaleno Jr. is launching his candidacy for governor of Maryland.

The Democrats are coming on strong, with Montgomery County’s Madaleno being the fifth to announce their candidacy.

Standing with friends and family, Democratic party progressive Madaleno announced his run for governor, this just days after fellow candidate for governor Ben Jealous won the endorsement of national party leader Bernie Sanders.

The four-term Sen. Madaleno isn’t fazed.

“I am confident of my record,” he said. “I have said to my colleagues, give me the time and space to go out and demonstrate I’m the person to lead our party, I’m the person to lead our state.”

He joins Jealous, already announced Prince George’s Executive Rushern Baker and entrepreneur Alec Ross, along with Baltimore County’s Kevin Kamenetz, Congressman John Delaney, former Attorney General Doug Gansler, and Baltimore attorney John Shea, who announced in June.

Congressman John Delaney is expected to announce by the end of the month, followed by Kevin Kamenetz after Labor Day.

“[Reporter: What does the size of this field tell you about what we can anticipate in the race next year?] Uh, it’s going to be a free-for-all,” political analyst and author Matthew Crenson said. “But also I think we can anticipate a close general election too. The fact that so many Democrats have come into the contest suggests that they think the governor is beatable in spite of his high approval rating.”

Democrats believe Republican Hogan’s approval in polls now may not translate to votes next year.

“I don’t think a poll would show you much of anything right now,” Madaleno said.

That includes the Democratic primary.

The deadline to file to be on that primary ballot is February 27.

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