Del. Ron George, a Republican who operates a jewelry store almost under the shadow of the State House, will go for the political gold as he makes a run for governor in 2014.
George, who represents Anne Arundel County, confirmed Tuesday that he has made up his mind to enter the Republican primary race.
The two-term lawmaker, who is 59, becomes the second member of the House to signal an intention to run for goveror next year, when Gov. Martin O'Malley cannot run because of term limits.
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George, who plans a formal announcement June 5 in Annapolis, will join a GOP race that is likely to include Howard County Executive David R. Craig, Frederick County Commission President Blaine Young and 2012 U.S. Senate nominee Dan Bongino. There is also an effort being made to draft Charles Lollar, a former congressional candidate.
George said he is running out of a concern for the business climate in Maryland, which he said is burdened by high taxes and excesssive regulation.
"What I want to do is is build a new Maryland," he said. "I want to build a tax base across the state that grows."
Generally, state lawmakers have had little success in recent decades in raising the money or gaining enough name recognition to compete for governor. But there is precedent for a near-miss by a delegate -- in 1994, when Minority Leader Ellen R. Sauerbrey came within 6,000 votes of upsetting Democrat Parris N. Glendening.