Frederick delegate to retire, weigh comptroller bid
Del. Galen Clagett announced over the weekend that he will retire from the legislature at the end of his four-year term -- a move prompted in part by his desire to weigh a run for state comptroller.
The Frederick County Democrat will have served 12 years as a delegate and eight years as a county commissioner. In both posts, he focused on budget issues. Clagett has run a property management and commercial sales company in Frederick for 25 years, experience that he says makes him a good candidate to be the state's tax collector.
Clagett joins a broad field of Democrats who say they might run for comptroller if Peter Franchot, who was uncontested in last year's Democratic primary, decides to seek the governor's office. Dels. Kumar Barve and Brian Feldman of Montgomery County and Sen. Jim Rosapepe of Prince George's County also are said to be pondering bids.
There's another reason Clagett, 69, says he will be ready to move on from the General Assembly come January 2015: "Even a dog needs a new fire hydrant once in a while."
The plain-spoken lawmaker is popular with his colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee but says he is ready for a new challenge.
(2010 photo by Amy Davis, The Baltimore Sun.)
"You can get stale in one role," he says.
If Franchot decides to run for a third term as comptroller, Clagett says he'll support his friend and turn his attention full-time to his business, Clagett Enterprises. His son and daughter work with him at the 40-person company, which has business in four states. Clagett says they would lead the company if he pursues the comptroller's office.
Clagett recently launched a "Blue Dog Democrats" caucus for fiscally conservative members of his party. Years ago, he tried to form a caucus for business owners in the legislature, but so few lawmakers have business experience that it never really got off the ground.
Clagett announced his retirement plans over the weekend, in a Frederick News-Post story published Saturday.