State Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) became the first major Maryland official to endorse Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) for president. Klobuchar finished a strong third in last week’s New Hampshire primary.
“In a field with several capable and accomplished candidates, I believe that she stands apart,” Franchot wrote Sunday in an email to supporters. He went on to call Klobuchar “a leader with common sense” who is “focusing considerable attention on many of the issues I personally care a great deal about, and have supported here in Maryland.”
Of the remaining candidates in the Democratic presidential field, Klobuchar makes the most sense for a Franchot endorsement — in part because none of the others fit with the ever-evolving image the comptroller is trying to project to the voters.
Joe Biden? Too establishment. Michael Bloomberg? Too plutocratic. Pete Buttigieg? Too cerebral and white collar. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders? Too far left.
Klobuchar is center-left, scrappy and quick-witted, making appeals to voters that too many Democrats neglect.
Better still, from Franchot’s perspective, very few “known” Democrats in Maryland are backing Klobuchar’s bid, meaning he can say he boarded the train early if her candidacy continues to make progress.
“I’m looking for the candidate who is best suited to beat Donald Trump, and for a president who will work hard to achieve our national priorities in a sensible, results-driven manner,” Franchot wrote. “I believe Senator Klobuchar is that candidate, and I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and helping Amy win the Maryland presidential primary on April 28.”
The question: Will she still be in the race by then?
Founding Editor Josh Kurtz is a veteran chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He was an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, for eight years, and for eight years was the editor of E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill. For 6 1/2 years Kurtz wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz regularly gives speeches and appears on TV and radio shows to discuss Maryland politics.
Lierman pledges that comptroller’s office will be fair and equitable.
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