Guzzone rules out race for Howard executive

Del. Guy Guzzone, who had been considering a run for Howard County executive in 2014, has ruled out such a race and will seek re-election to the General Assembly.

Guzzone,  who represents the east county 13th District, said Thuesday night that he had not yet decided whether to run for re-election to the House or to seek the Senate seat being vacated by fellow Democrat James Robey, who recently announced his retirement.

All three delegates from the 13th, a Democratic stronghold, have attained leadership poisitions in the House that could make staying put an attractive option. Guzzone holds the important public safety chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee. Dels. Frank Turner and Shane Pendergrass are vice chairs of standing committees -- giving the 13th an unusual concentration of clout.

Guzzone, at 49, is the youngest in the delegation and thus would presumably have more time to rebuild senority in the Senate -- a smaller body where an individual member can have more impact.  Turner is 65 and Pendergrass is 63.

In the past, the three delegates have run as a slate along with Robey. Guzzone said he and his fellow delegates would seek another member for the slate, whether as a House or Senate candidate. He ruled out any scenario in which any of the incumbent delegates would run against one of the others in the Senate primary.

"I can say it absolutely would never happen. We are very much a team," he said.

Guzzone acknowledged that  Councilwoman Courtney Watson, the presumed early front-runner in the race among Democrats to succeed term-limited County Executive Ken Ulman, had shown impressive fund-raising prowess by taking in more than $374,000 for her campaign war chest. But the delegate, who has raised more than $227,000, said that was not the reason he decided against the race for executive.







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