McIn­tosh weighs runs for statewide of­fice

Dem. del­e­gate said she is con­sid­er­ing vy­ing for gover­nor or comptroller

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Erin Cox ecox@balt­ twit­­natTheSun

Del. Maggie McIn­tosh of Bal­ti­more, a veteran Demo­cratic law­maker, is weigh­ing a run against Mary­land’s pop­u­lar Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan.

McIn­tosh said Thurs­day she’s con­sid­er­ing a run for statewide of­fice in 2018. She said she was in­spired to act by Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton’s loss in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion last week and the lack of women in high-pro­file Mary­land po­lit­i­cal jobs.

With the re­tire­ment of Sen. Bar­bara A. Mikul­ski and the pri­mary loss of Rep. Donna Ed­wards, Mary­land elected an all-male con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion last week for the first time in 46 years. A woman has never served as Mary­land’s gover­nor, or as pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer in ei­ther cham­ber of the Gen­eral As­sem­bly.

McIn­tosh, the 68-year-old chair­woman of the House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, said she is also con­sid­er­ing a run against Demo­cratic Comptroller Peter Fran­chot. The comptroller has an­gered many in his party by cre­at­ing what Fran­chot has called a strate­gic part­ner­ship with Ho­gan.

“Last week’s elec­tion made me dig deeper and ask my­self whether I should lis­ten to sev­eral peo­ple who have en­cour­aged me to think about statewide of­fice,” McIn­tosh said Thurs­day.

She said many Democrats are ask­ing what they can do fol­low­ing the elec­tion of Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump and the de­feat of the first woman to be nom­i­nated for pres­i­dent by a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal party.

McIn­tosh, a 24-year veteran of the House of Del­e­gates, rose to lead­er­ship more than 20 years ago. She was the first openly gay mem­ber of the As­sem­bly and a key player in pass­ing the state’s same-sex mar­riage leg­is­la­tion in 2012. She then mar­shaled re­sources to de­fend the law when it went to ref­er­en­dum.

She is a close ally of House Speaker Michael E. Busch and a sharp-tongued critic of some of Ho­gan’s spend­ing poli­cies.

McIn­tosh told The Bal­ti­more Sun this sum­mer she was “per­plexed and dis­turbed” by the lack of Demo­cratic women avail­able to step up when Mikul­ski an­nounced her de­ci­sion last year to re­tire af­ter 30 years in the Se­nate.

McIn­tosh said she de­cided not to run for higher of­fi­cer when the op­por­tu­nity came ear­lier in her ca­reer.

Now, she said, she was con­ven­ing a group of peo­ple to evaluate the next best step for her po­lit­i­cal ca­reer. That group does not in­clude Mikul­ski, for whom McIn­tosh once worked. Still, McIn­tosh said the out­go­ing se­na­tor was her “big­gest cheer­leader.”

McIn­tosh posted a mock-up of a bumper sticker on Face­book this week that read “McIn­tosh 2018.” “My con­stituents liked it,” she said. She plans to con­duct polls and evaluate the like­li­hood of rais­ing enough cash for a statewide cam­paign. Re­cent cam­paigns have cost as much as $11.2 mil­lion in the pri­mary alone.

She also said sev­eral times in a brief in­ter­view that she would be happy to re­main in the leg­is­la­ture.

“I love my role here. I love it,” she said af­ter at­tend­ing a two-hour brief­ing on the state’s fi­nances.

Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz, a Demo­crat, has said he is con­sid­er­ing a run for gover­nor. Democrats re­port­edly con­sid­er­ing a run for comptroller in­clude state Sen. James C. Ros­apepe and Del. Jose­line Pena-Mel­nyk, both Prince Ge­orge’s County Democrats.


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