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Franchot decides against run for governor

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Local,Maryland,Rachel Baye

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot has decided not to run for governor in 2014, choosing instead to seek re-election as comptroller, he announced Tuesday.

In an email to campaign supporters, Franchot attributed the decision partly to the advice of his wife, Anne, and his children, Abbe and Nick.

As comptroller, Franchot has opposed Gov. Martin O'Malley on a variety of issues, including the high-profile fight to expand gambling -- Franchot opposed it, saying it would not add the promised dollars to state education funding -- and whether to pass an Internet sales tax before Congress does.

In Tuesday's email, he promised to fight for high schools to require a course in financial literacy and to oppose "initiatives that, however well-intentioned, would further weaken an economy that remains fundamentally fragile."

By choosing not to run for governor, Franchot leaves the field open for presumed candidates like Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler, as well as a number of Maryland county executives and state legislators.

His decision also caused two state legislators to rethink their own campaigns for comptroller. State Sen. Jim Rosapepe, D-Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties, and House of Delegates Majority Leader Kumar Barve, D-Montgomery County, both announced Tuesday that they will run for re-election in their current seats, rather than compete with Franchot.

"I definitely would have run if Peter [Franchot] had decided to run for governor," Barve said. "As an accountant, I felt that I was highly qualified to be the chief financial officer of the state of Maryland."

However, Del. Brian Feldman, D-Montgomery County, is still interested in running.

Feldman emphasized that he disagrees with Franchot on issues like whether to raise taxes to fund transportation needs -- Feldman backed new taxes -- and he supported the gambling measure that Franchot opposed.

He said he will decide whether to run after discussing his prospects with other state lawmakers when they return to Annapolis for the legislative session in January.

"I have to assess whether it's a race that in the long run I can win," he said.

rbaye@washingtonexaminer.com

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