Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Montgomery Co.), who for months has been exploring a potential gubernatorial run, is officially in the race to become the Free State's next governor.
Mizeur, a two-term House of Delegates member who represents a district stretching from Takoma Park through Silver Spring, officially announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination Wednesday morning by sending an email to supporters titled, "I'm in."
"Today I'm announcing that I’m all in," Mizeur said in the email blast. "I'm running for governor because I love this state and I see limitless possibilities on what we can accomplish together to create good, well-paying jobs, improve our schools, protect our environment, promote our health, and create safe and thriving neighborhoods in every community across Maryland."
During her time in the legislature, Mizeur has carved out an image as a progressive fighter, championing marriage equality, access to affordable health care, women's rights and environmental issues, particularly concerning the issue of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, also known as fracking, in Maryland's Western panhandle region.
"There are great challenges facing us, and also incredible opportunities," Mizeur said in a statement. "I know that the solution at every turn is found by working together. I want to see Maryland live up to its full potential rather than settling for 'good enough.' We are one community, and we need to start talking and interacting and working together like we understand that in our core."
As part of her campaign rollout, Mizeur will be attending several community events and participating in several service projects, including a food drive in Glenarden, Md., a school playground painting in Silver Spring, a "wetland cleanup and trail rebuilding" project in Cambridge, on the Eastern Shore, and a reading activity for children at a Baltimore community center.
If elected, Mizeur would become Maryland's first female governor and the first out gay or lesbian governor in the country.
Mizeur's likely challengers in the Democratic primary vying to replace Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) include statewide officeholders Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, a Prince George's County native who previously announced his candidacy, and Attorney General Doug Gansler, a Montgomery County resident. Baltimore-area congressman C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger (D-Md.) has also expressed interest in a run for the state’s top office.
On the Republican side, Harford County Executive David Craig, Del. Ron George (R-Anne Arundel Co.), Brian Vaeth, a businessman, retired firefighter and former 2012 U.S. Senate candidate, and Blaine Young, president of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners, have all announced their candidacies. Other potential Republicans include former Lt. Gov. and 2006 U.S. Senate candidate Michael Steele and Larry Hogan, a former state cabinet secretary in the administration of former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R).
[Photo: Del. Heather Mizeur (courtesy of Friends of Heather Mizeur)]