Wednesday, December 11, 2013 4:21 AM
Published on: Thursday, June 27, 2013
By Donna Broadway
BEL AIR – The 2014 gubernatorial race is heating up.
With candidacy rumors from both parties, battle lines are being drawn between democrats and republicans. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown declared his intention to run for governor May 10 and, on June 3, named Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate. Brian Vaeth and Duane “Shorty” Johnson, republican candidates, were the first team on either side to file for the governor’s race, but a few weeks ago, the duo’s candidacy was withdrawn for undisclosed reasons.
With many rumored democrat nominees for governor and one confirmed team, republicans appeared to be lagging in the first quarter. David Craig, a former Havre de Grace councilman, four-time Havre de Grace mayor, district 34 state delegate and state senator, and 34-year teacher and assistant principal in Harford County Public Schools, announced June 3 he is running for the republican nomination for governor.
Craig said he is running to give people a true choice: a choice that includes fewer taxes and less government. One tax he wants to get rid of is the rain tax, which he said should be amended, and the counties should be allowed to decide how to manage watershed cleanup.
“The whole object is to have a vision and know what money we have so we can actually spend less money and do better things with it,” Craig said. “So our job, and this is where I want to give people a choice, is to show them how efficient we have been in Harford County to take as little money out of your pocket as possible and spend it as wisely and efficiently as possible.”
Despite the 70 miles between Harford County and Montgomery County, as the former president of the Maryland Municipal Union and the Maryland Association of Counties, Craig has spent a lot of in the county getting to know the mayors and local elected officials. Craig said when democratic county executives did not want to speak against the governor on an issue, he did not hesitate to speak on their behalf.
“I knew mayors in Poolesville, Gaithersburg, Kensington, you name it, I know the issues. I became the county executive and became the president of the Maryland Association of Counties,” Craig said. “So I understood the issues that they have. We are also one of the big seven, we associate on a regular basis and we know we have very similar issues that are difficult.”
During redistricting, several historically republican territories were broken up and many state and federal politicians were voted out of office. Craig said the shift is not a reflection on the party and he believes there will be more republicans holding offices all over the state.
“I think there are enough people in Maryland who vote for the person, not the letter next to their name,” Craig said. “There are enough people in those big counties who will say ‘we think this guy can do a better job than that guy, we are going to vote for him.’”