State Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a veteran liberal Democrat from Montgomery County, announced his candidacy for attorney general today, saying he wants to be "the people's lawyer.
“In a world where powerful special interests seem to get all the breaks, too many Marylanders feel like their voices aren’t being heard,” Frosh wrote in an email to supporters. “They want to know they’ve got an advocate who will fight for them. They want to know someone has got their backs."
Frosh, 66, has served as chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee since 2003. He was elected to the House in 1986 and moved up to the Senate in 1994.
If elected, Frosh would succeed Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who is expected to announce his candidacy for governor in September. Del. Jon Cardin of Baltimore County has also declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for attorney general. Del. Aisha N. Braveboy of Prince George's County and Del. C. William Frick of Montgomery are also considered potential candidates in the wide-open race.
Frosh's announcement has long been expected. While the attorney general's office has sometimes been seen as a stepping stone to a race for governor, Frosh -- a generation older than his rivals -- has said he has no interest in seeking that office.
Before being appointed chairman of Judicial Proceedings, Frosh was known as the leading environmentalist in the Senate. In his current post, he has been a leading advocate for gun control, abolition of the death penalty and same-sex marriage.
The attorney general 's office serves as the law firm for state government and prosecutes certain environmental crimes and violations of consumer protection laws.
Frosh is known as one of the most consistent liberals in the Senate, but is highly respected on both sides of the aisle for his willingness to listen to all points of view and for running his committee in an open manner.
While he has not been known as a formidable fund-raiser, Frosh entered the year with the fattest campaign account of the likely attorney general candidates. His January campaign finance report showed he had $390,000 in the bank, while Cardin had $170,000 and the other likely candidates trailed far behind. Frosh has also secured the support of influential members of the party, including Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.
Frosh plans a campaign kickoff event in September.
So far, no Republican candidate for attorney general has emerged. The last time a Republican was elected to the office was in 1918. Republican Edward D. E. Rollins held the office between 1952 and 1954 as an appointee of GOP Gov. Theodore R. McKeldin.