Franchot Rolls Out Big Endorsement List of Current and Ex-Officeholders

    With the Democratic field for governor essentially to himself for now, Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) on Thursday rolled out a list of 112 current and former officeholders who have endorsed his 2022 bid.

    The endorsements come from all over the state and include several local officeholders, a smattering of current state legislators, former Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg (D) and two former congressmen: Wayne T. Gilchrest, a former Republican who has been endorsing Democrats for most offices for the past decade, and Roy P. Dyson.

    The list also includes officeholders who are or have been on the comptroller’s payroll — state Sen. Craig J. Zucker (D-Montgomery) and Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson (D), along with several county registers of wills, who get their funding from the comptroller’s office. And it features several Democrats who endorsed Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. for a second term in 2018, including Steinberg, Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman and Salisbury Mayor Jacob R. Day.

    “These hardworking servants hail from every county and jurisdiction within our great state, and I am grateful for their friendship and trust,” Franchot said in a Facebook post.

    Besides Zucker, the current state lawmakers endorsing Franchot are Dels. J. Sandra Bartlett (D-Anne Arundel), Steven C. Johnson (D-Harford) and Pamela Queen (D-Montgomery). Several former lawmakers whose tenures overlapped with Franchot’s — he served in the House from 1987 to 2007 — have also offered endorsements. This list includes former longtime House Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vallario (D-Prince George’s) and former Senate Finance Chairman Thomas L. Bromwell (D-Baltimore County).

    Many of the ex-officials regularly resurface at the annual J. Millard Tawes Clam Bake and Crab Feast and congregate in the tent of Annapolis lobbyist Bruce C. Bereano.

    “During my time in office, I’ve visited every community across the state, from Accident to Crisfield and every zip code in between,” Franchot said. “I’ve built an unparalleled collection of relationships with state and local leaders who span all 23 of Maryland’s counties and Baltimore City, and I will work hand-in-hand with them to ensure that all of our communities fully recover from the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

    Franchot and former Obama administration staffer Ashwani Jain are the only declared Democratic candidates for governor, though several other well-known Democrats are pondering the race and some are close to getting in. For the full list of current and former officials who announced their endorsement of Franchot on Thursday, click here.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading 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 later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.