ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Republican David Craig introduced Del. Jeannie Haddaway as his running mate for governor on Tuesday, citing her work as a small business owner and Eastern Shore lawmaker experienced in environmental and economic issues.
Craig noted Haddaway’s expertise representing residents in a rural part of the state that Republicans say has been too often ignored by the Democratic majority in Annapolis.
“She has seen this unchecked power that we have and this political monopoly that we see all the time and how it’s damaged the state and damaged the people of Maryland,” Craig said at a news conference in Annapolis outside the Maryland State House. “She wants to change it; so do I.”
Haddaway, 36, has been a member of the House of Delegates since she was appointed to the seat in August 2003. She won re-election in 2006 and 2010. Her district includes a large portion of the Eastern Shore, including Talbot County and parts of Caroline, Dorchester and Wicomico counties.
Haddaway, of St. Michaels, said she has spent her political career fighting for lower taxes and a better business climate. She also said she has worked for a greater balance between environmental interests while carefully considering agricultural and commercial fishing interests. A native of the Eastern Shore, her family has worked in agriculture and commercial fishing, and Craig underscored her understanding of rural Maryland and the importance of county and municipal government.
Haddaway also said she believes Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s administration has gone too far to the left of where most Maryland residents identify themselves in order to pursue political aspirations. O’Malley is considering a potential presidential bid in 2016. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown is running for governor.
“Over time, the notion that we are supposed to be representatives of the people has been lost on them, and they’ve allowed their own blind political ambitions to overshadow their judgment about what is best for our state,” Haddaway said.
Haddaway and Craig are calling attention to tax increases backed by the O’Malley administration over the years as evidence they have lost touch with difficulties faced by Maryland residents and the needs of businesses.
Haddaway, who has served on the House Economic Matters Committee, said she would play an active role in developing economic development policy. Craig noted she would not be “a silent partner.”
“I definitely will be helping David formulate the economic development policies,” Haddaway, who owns a small business called Dragonfly Designs, a graphic and web-based design company.
Haddaway held a leadership post for the GOP in the House. She was elected to be the House minority whip in December 2010, and she served in that capacity from 2011 until this year, when House Republicans elected new leadership in April.
Craig’s selection was announced as the state is seeing early political activity for a primary that is scheduled for next summer.
Brown announced his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, early last month.
Primaries for both parties are on track to be more crowded than in the 2006 or 2010 gubernatorial elections. On the Democratic side, Attorney General Doug Gansler is expected announce his candidacy in September, and Del. Heather Mizeur has been discussing plans to enter the race. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger also is considering a run.
For the GOP, Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County is running for governor. Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chairman and former lieutenant governor of Maryland, also has said he is thinking of entering the race. Brian Vaeth, a retired firefighter from Baltimore County, already has filed to run. Blaine Young, president of the Board of County Commissioners in Frederick County, is considering a run as well.
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