More than a half-dozen Maryland Republicans are gearing up for next year’s race to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), banking that voters are fed up with Democrats who have passed a series of tax increases and liberal social policies in recent years.
Harford County Executive David R. Craig (R) and Del. Ronald A. George (R-Anne Arundel), the two candidates who have already kicked off their campaigns, did so promising tax cuts. And several others, including former Republican National Committee chairman Michael S. Steele, could announce bids in coming months.
Part of their message has been that O’Malley has taken the state far outside of the mainstream, particularly on tax and spending issues. An unpopular increase in the gas tax is scheduled to take effect next month, and O’Malley has led several divisive and time-consuming battles over issues such as same-sex marriage, the death penalty and gun control.