Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler on Thursday will begin a series of statewide meetings which he said will shape the policies forming his future campaign for governor.
Gansler, a Democrat, plans to formally announce his bid in September, but this week announced he would conduct a series of small, informal meetings he's called "Building Our Best Maryland."
"Why are we starting here? Why are we putting the bunting and banners second?" Gansler said in a statement e-mailed to supporters this week. "Because running for governor is about ideas and policies that will help protect and improve the lives of Maryland families and children, not about pomp and circumstance."
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Political observers have questioned why Gansler, a two-term Democrat, has chosen to stay out of the race until the fall. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown launched his campaign in May, already named his running mate and secured high-profile endorsements from city leaders and the current governor.
Gansler is not the only Democratic hopeful waiting to jump in the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Martin O'Malley. Del. Heather Mizeur of Montgomery County has been raising money, and on Tuesday wrote to supporters that the end of the month marks a deadline "where we have to evaluate if we have the resources to take on our insider opponents."
The first of Gansler's meetings was scheduled for 1 p.m. today at the Montgomery County Family Justice Center in Rockville, a venue related to Gansler's proposal to create a network of such centers around the state.
Also on the attorney general's list of proposals: more legislation for crimes committed in front of children, addressing the achievement gap in education and modernizing Baltimore's harbor.
So far, two Republicans have declared for the race: Harford County Executive David R. Craig and Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County.