On the gubernatorial campaign trail for 2010: Lollar may not qualify; Hogan wants Ehrlich; Owings raising cash
The field of would-be gubernatorial candidates might already be narrowed by one. Charles Lollar, chairman of the GOP central committee in Charles County whose name has been floated as a potential contender for the Republicans, might not meet constitutional standards, The Gazette reported today.
Under the Maryland Constitution, a candidate for governor or lieutenant governor must have been a resident and registered voter in the state for five years before the general election. According to the newspaper report, Lollar’s voter registration card showed he signed his application on June 6, 2006. Lollar, who moved here from Atlanta in October 2005, says he submitted his application soon after arriving and that there was a delay in processing it. The election is in November 2010.
But Lollar may set his sights on Washington rather than governor’s mansion in Annapolis anyway. He's reportedly considering a congressional campaign against U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, a long-time Maryland Democrat and the powerful House majority leader. Under the U.S. Constitution, representatives must have been a U.S. citizen for seven years and a resident of state where they are elected.
Lollar is clearly planning some sort of campaign. If a recent e-mail message is a guide, he’s looking at the national stage.
In the e-mail, Lollar weighed in on President Barack Obama’s prime-time press conference on his health care proposal. He accused the administration of ramming the proposal through Congress and declared: “American families want to have a choice in their health care without the mandates and top-down control of Government Care.”
Meanwhile, another potential gubernatorial candidate from the GOP downplayed rumors he might run.
Lawrence J. Hogan Jr., a real estate company executive who almost unseated Hoyer in the 1990s, said in a mass e-mail that he believes Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has a better shot at defeating Gov. Martin O’Malley. Hogan served in Ehrlich's cabinet before the governor lost to O’Malley, a Democrat, in 2006. Ehrlich has yet to decide whether he’ll get in the race. Hogan, for one, seems content to wait.
“I’m certainly flattered that anyone would even consider me as a potential candidate for Maryland Governor, and I’m proud to be called the number one backup to Bob Ehrlich,” Hogan wrote in his e-mail. “But, let me be clear, my friend Bob Ehrlich, after his lifetime of effort, and his many accomplishments, has earned the right to take all the time he needs to make up his mind on this important decision.”
On the Democratic side, the field may soon expand by one. George W. Owings III, a former state delegate and Calvert County Democrat who served as secretary of veterans affairs under Ehrlich, has officially opened a campaign account. He said he’s “actively raising money and speaking to different groups.” Stay tuned for an official announcement from him.