This story was updated at 1:10 p.m. Dec. 11, 2012.
Peter V.R. Franchot announced Tuesday he will not run for governor but will instead seek re-election as state comptroller in 2014.
“It is no secret that in recent months, I have given thought to running for governor,” Franchot, a Democrate, wrote on his campaign website and in an email to supporters. “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.”
Franchot said he was eager to continue the work of the comptroller’s office. As comptroller, Franchot holds one of the three seats on the state’s Board of Public Works, along with the governor and state treasurer. The board oversees awarding major state contracts.
“At the same time, I have relished the opportunity to serve as an independent voice and a tough fiscal watchdog for the taxpayers — whether by opposing wasteful spending on the Board of Public Works, fighting to hold the line on state debt, protecting tax filers from fraudulent preparers, or leading by example and doing a better job for less money within my own office,” Franchot said.
With Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) not seeking a third term because of the state’s two-term limit, Franchot was seen as one of the front-runners in the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary, along with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park.
Franchot’s decision to run for comptroller lead State Sen. James C. Rosapepe (D-Dist. 21) of College Park, one of several potential candidates considering a comptroller bid, to announce he would seek re-election to the senate.
“My travels around our state over the past year and a half, as I've explored running for comptroller, have allowed me to learn much more about the needs and aspirations of our people from the Bay to the mountains, from inner cities and outer suburbs to small towns and farms,” Rosapepe said in a statement..
As comptroller, a position Franchot called his “dream job,” he is not constrained by term limits.
Franchot, a former delegate from Takoma Park, won election to the comptroller’s seat in 2006, first defeating former governor and then-incumbent Comptroller William Donald Schaefer in a hotly contested three-way Democratic primary; Franchot won with 36.5 percent of the vote. He won the general election with 59 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Anne M. McCarthy. He won re-election in 2010 to a second term, defeating Republican William Henry Campbell 61 percent to 39 percent.