Democrat to challenge O'Malley in 2010
Owings is former Ehrlich cabinet member; treasurer is Arnick of Timonium
By Bryan P. Sears, firstname.lastname@example.org
George Owings, a former state delegate and member of Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s cabinet, announced today that he will run for governor in September’s Democratic primary.
Owings, a life-long Democrat who represented Calvert County for 16 years, will run against fellow Democrat Martin O’Malley.
“I want to make sure the voters have a real choice and not just a Hobson’s Choice,” Owings said in an interview Wednesday before his announcement in Prince Frederick.
Owings’ campaign treasurer is Joanne Arnick, a Timonium resident and widow of county Del. John Arnick.
Owings acknowledged his underdog status against O’Malley, but said he plans to highlight what he said are “stark differences between the two of us.”
“Running for governor against an incumbent from your own party means you become an unknown person to your fellow Democrats,” Owings said of the reaction from some within his party.
Owings said that for the last several months, he has been traveling the state trying to increase his visibility. In October, he attended a meeting of the Central Baltimore County Democratic Club in Towson.
Owings, a self-described “center-right Democrat,” criticized O’Malley on increases in taxes, including a penny increase in the state sales tax; O’Malley’s anti-death penalty stance; state government’s handling of slots and BGE; and the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay.
Owings served as Secretary of Veterans Affairs under Ehrlich from 2004 to 2007 and continued in that position briefly under O’Malley before being replaced.
The Calvert County Democrat said talk of him running because he has an ax to grind with O’Malley are off base.
“Anyone who knows me at all knows this isn’t about sour grapes,” Owings said, adding that he is prepared to run against Ehrlich if necessary.
Ehrlich is considering a potential run but has said a decision is months away.
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