Bongino won’t seek Leopold’s job -- Gazette.Net


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Former U.S. Senate candidate Daniel Bongino (R) said Monday that he doesn't want to be appointed to fill the vacant Anne Arundel County executive seat, nor will he seek the chairmanship of the Maryland Republican Party.

Supporters had floated Bongino’s name in connection with both offices after the resignation of former County Executive John R. Leopold (R), who was convicted late last month on misconduct charges, and the weekend announcement that current party chair Alex X. Mooney will step down later this month after two years as chair.

Bongino said it’s become clear that the appointment by the Anne Arundel County Council of Leopold’s successor is being dominated by political insiders, and that he was more interested in working with the people of Maryland than in being an “insider.”

Candidates reported to have their eye on Leopold’s job include former state first lady Kendel Ehrlich, Del. Cathleen M. Vitale (R-Dist. 33A) of Severna Park, Del. Steven R. Schuh (R-Dist. 31) of Gibson Island, County Council Chairman Jerry Walker (R) and Councilman John J. Grasso (R).

The other candidates have an inside edge, despite an “enormous grass-roots effort” in his favor, Bongino said.

While Bongino has also been mentioned as a possible successor to Mooney, Bongino said the chairmanship isn’t on his radar either and that he believed he could best serve the people of Maryland “outside of any formal [political] apparatus.”

Bongino said he planned to run for public office in 2014, but wasn't yet sure for which position. He previously has said he is weighing a run for governor.

dleaderman@gazette.net