Dutch Ruppersberger: Will He or Won’t He?
Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger may have a problem with commitment when it comes to campaign plans.
On Tuesday January 14th, Jaime Lennon, a spokeswoman for Ruppersberger hinted at a run for governor in a piece that ran in the Carroll County Times. And that wasn’t the first time the second district Congressman or a spokesperson has said he is toying with entering Maryland’s 2014 gubernatorial race. He’s been talking about it since last spring.
Should the former Baltimore County Executive actually get in the race, he could reconfigure the Democratic primary where all three candidates—Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Delegate Heath Mizeur—are from the Washington suburbs.
With the February 25 filing deadline approaching, let’s trace the timeline of statements.
- April 10, 2013: Lennon told the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Rodricks he “’is considering it.’”
- April 12, 2013: Congressman Ruppersberger said “If I do decide to do it…I’ll have to talk to my family, my wife… and the people who are running now” in a video interview with Maryland Juice (around the 3:30 minute mark).
- October 15, 2013: Ruppersberger was quoted saying “A lot of people have said, ‘Dutch, you’ve got to do this [run for governor]’” in a Washington Post piece by John Wagner.
- October 28, 2013: Lennon “said her boss would make a final decision by Thanksgiving” in another Sun piece by Dan Rodricks.
But wait! There’s more ambivalence!
- November 7, 2013: Ruppersberger said “I’m leaning not to [run for governor], but I haven’t made that decision yet” in an interview with the Capital Gazette.
- January 14 2014: In the Carroll County Times piece, Lennon said Ruppersberger “’is still considering’” a campaign.
Ruppersberger has said before that he would “kick butt” as governor of Maryland, citing his years of experience in politics and in running Baltimore County. In 2001, while Ruppersberger was the executive, Governing magazine named Baltimore County one of the nation’s “best managed counties.”
What’s stopping him? Ruppersberger told Wagner in his Washington Post piece he is keeping his “’quality of life’” in mind; he gets to spend time with his grandchildren who live in Virginia.
There are nearly six weeks left until the filing deadline, so stay tuned.