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Baltimore County Exec Will Not Challenge Franchot

Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith (D) said today that he would not run for Maryland comptroller next year, forgoing what was expected to be a spirited Democratic primary against the incumbent, Peter Franchot (D).

Franchot, a former Montgomery County delegate, has roiled many in the Democratic establishment since his 2006 election with his opposition to slot-machine gambling and other outspoken positions.

"Although this has not been an easy decision, I am confident that I am making the right choice," Smith, a close political ally of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), said in a statement. "Having spent many months thinking about the duties of comptroller in the state of Maryland, I have concluded that it is not a position to which I aspire."

Besides being the state's chief tax collector, the comptroller is also a member of the Board of Public Works, a three-member panel that approves major state contracts. Franchot beat incumbent William Donald Schaefer and another opponent to win the primary race in 2006, then easily overcame the Republican candidate in the general.

By John Wagner  |  July 6, 2009; 5:58 PM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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