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Blog Election 2022

Montgomery County Sen. William Smith Opts Out of Race for Attorney General

Senate Judicial Proceedings Chair William C. Smith Jr. watches a vote tally. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

Sen. William C. Smith Jr. (D-Montgomery) has decided not to enter the race for Attorney General.

The chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Smith announced his interest in the seat shortly after Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) disclosed, in October, that he will not seek a third term.

But the lawmaker said he decided over the weekend to remain the legislature, in part because of “logistical concerns,” most notably the prohibition on raising funds while the General Assembly is in session.

“We have a special session right now. I can’t raise money; I can’t campaign,” he said. “During session, you’ve got 90 days where I can’t raise money and can’t campaign.”

The 39-year-old lawmaker is a relatively junior member of the chamber but is already chair of a standing committee. A member of the U.S. Navy Reserve who got his law degree at the College of William and Mary, Smith is thought to have a bright political future.

He said the ability to influence legislation in the years to come helped shape his thinking about next year’s elections.

Smith’s decision means the race to succeed Frosh will likely end up a two-way contest featuring two political heavyweights.

Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D), a Prince Georgian, declared his candidacy just days after Frosh announced that he will step down at the end of his term.

Recently-retired Baltimore County District Court Judge Katie Curran O’Malley (D), the wife of former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), launched her bid for attorney general last week.

“We have just an embarrassment of riches in terms of candidates,” said Smith, a reference to the big-name Democrats who have already launched campaigns. “We will be in great hands.”

Republican James F. Shalleck, a former federal prosecutor who has a Montgomery County law practice, announced his candidacy over the summer.

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Montgomery County Sen. William Smith Opts Out of Race for Attorney General