In his latest fundraising email, state Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) raised the specter of an unnamed deep-pocketed Democratic primary opponent to appeal for campaign cash.
“Winning the Democratic Primary for Governor in 2022, particularly with a potential candidacy of a multi-millionaire who can self-fund their campaign, will be an expensive operation,” Franchot said in his fundraising email.
The comptroller ― the only declared Democratic candidate for governor ― did not indicate who he was referring to.
U.S. Rep. David J. Trone (D), co-owner of the Total Wine and More national liquor chain, is contemplating the 2022 race. Former Rep. John K. Delaney, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2020, is seen as another potential candidate. And Maryland being Maryland, there is no shortage of wealthy businesspeople who ponder political careers.
In the rest of the fundraising appeal, Franchot touted his leadership record during his 14 years as comptroller.
“The magnitude of the public health, economic, and fiscal challenges that we face will require strong, bold, and experienced leadership at the helm to position our state to effectively rebuild from this devastating period in our history,” he wrote.
Franchot said he was preparing to release a campaign platform.
“Over the next several months, I will be rolling out a bold, creative, but pragmatic policy platform designed to address the challenges — brought about or worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic — that our communities face,” he wrote. “But to ensure that we are strongly positioned to begin 2021 strong, I need your help today.”
Franchot reminded supporters that as a statewide official, he’s banned from raising money during the three-month General Assembly session, which begins on Jan. 13 ― a restriction that does not apply to many of his potential Democratic primary opponents.
“With the January fundraising deadline quickly approaching, my team is working around the clock to ensure that we meet our goal. Between now and January 13th, every day and every dollar will count,” he wrote.
(Disclosure: The David and June Trone Family Foundation has been a financial supporter of Maryland Matters.)