In the News
The Star Democrat
July 7, 2021
By Natalie Jones
EASTON — Former state attorney general Doug Gansler is making a second run for governor in 2022 — and a fourth run for office statewide — with a focus on inclusion, bringing biofuels and renewable energy investments to the Eastern Shore and bridging the worrisome digital divide both regionally and statewide.
Gansler joins the race as one of nine Democrats and three Republicans vying for the office to succeed current Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.
Originally from Montgomery County, Gansler enters the 2022 race with a background of public service and previous runs for office. After a stint as prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Gansler then ran for state’s attorney in his home county in 1998, winning the office as a 35-year-old. After eight years working for the county, he successfully ran for state attorney general in 2006 and was reelected in 2010.
Gansler ran for governor of Maryland in 2014. He lost in the Democratic primary to then-Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown, who lost to Hogan in the general election. Hogan is term-limited after winning reelection in 2018.
Gansler’s decision to run for governor again came in the midst of COVID quarantines, where he said he found a real opportunity to be introspective about what he wanted to do in his future. He came to the realization that he wanted to be in government and he wanted to be helping people, so with some encouragement from people against him last time, he determined that a second run for the state’s highest office was a good fit.
“(I) realized that we needed a Democrat that can actually win the primary and general election, who has practical but progressive Democratic values that people are looking for, particularly coming out of COVID and trying to rebuild the state, and looking for someone that looks through lenses of inclusion and diversity and equity,” Gansler told The Star Democrat. “We need somebody with that kind of experience; people are looking for that right now and we need to win.”
Gansler also supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use and favors a system to expunge criminal records for possession charges. Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland but the General Assembly failed to act on legalization measure this year even with New York and Virginia joining the U.S. states with legal cannabis. It could be a top issue in Annapolis next year and the race for governor.
Most of the counties on the Eastern Shore are majority Republican as evidenced by the 2020 presidential election results favoring former President Donald Trump though Talbot and Kent counties narrowly went for President Joe Biden in November buoying Democratic hopes.
Democratic candidates have sometimes focused on the vote-rich Washington suburbs and Baltimore and paid less attention to the Eastern Shore and rural parts of the state.
Despite coming into the race as a candidate from the western shore, just like the other Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Gansler is confident in his abilities to appeal to voters on the Shore. To him, it comes down to which candidate knows more than just the major cities on the Eastern Shore.
“I think that there’s a history of Democrats coming to the Eastern Shore for election time, talking to people on the Eastern Shore and then never coming back,” he said. “I think that I proved by the cases that I brought and the river audits I conducted and the travel I did as attorney general, that I view the Eastern Shore as part of Maryland.”
“I do believe that my values of being a progressive and practical governor will comport with the progressive but practical values of the Eastern Shore, of the people that live here,” he continued…