Del. Kumar P. Barve is generating early buzz in the 2014 comptroller’s race, saying this week that he will be a candidate if Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot does not stand for reelection.
“If he runs for governor I am in the running,” Barve (D-Dist. 17) of Gaithersburg said on Monday.
Franchot is seen as a likely candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor when Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) terms-out after this, his second term in office. Franchot has not made any definitive statement about his plans. There are no term limits for comptroller.
Barve, who represents Rockville and Gaithersburg in the General Assembly, told The Washington Post in June that he’d “definitely be interested” in the post if it is open.
He said during a July 29 appearance on “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” on WAMU that he is “virtually certain” that he’d run for comptroller if Franchot does not seek a third term. (Click here to hear Barve, starting at the 8:16 mark. Fast forward to the 28:16 mark to hear him talk about the comptroller race.)
David Moon, a progressive Democratic operative and Takoma Park native who now lives in the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, DC, launched Maryland Juice last week. Moon has served as campaign manager for County Council members Nancy Navarro and Hans Riemer, as well as Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park. He writes on Maryland Juice that he started the blog to fill what he said is "a gaping hole in local political discourse" since Adam Pagnucco’s retirement as editor of the popular Maryland Politics Watch blog.
Maryland Juice checked in with Barve on Monday and reported that he is “all in” if Franchot runs for governor in 2014. Moon also provided a bit of analysis, saying he is “surprised to see the Comptroller's race drawing serious candidates so quickly.”
Candidates for statewide office “have to decide sooner rather than later” that they are going to run, Barve said in a telephone interview with Rockville Patch on Monday.
He said he “loves” his current post as House Majority Leader—a post he has held since 2003, but added: “In politics you have to quit [the office you hold] to run for another office.”
Barve is chief financial officer for Rockville-based His experience in government procurement, accounting and management would make him “a very good fit” for comptroller, he said.
“The comptroller’s position is the elected chief financial officer of the state,” he said, adding that he’d use the comptroller's office to identify ways to run the government more efficiently.
Barve said that he expects a crowded field statewide, but declined to speculate on other potential candidates.
It’s likely that Barve won’t be the only candidate from Montgomery County.
Montgomery County House Delegation Chairman Brian J. Feldman (D-Dist. 15) of Potomac told The Washington Post in June that he too is interested in the job. Feldman contemplated challenging Franchot in 2008.
Outside of Montgomery County, Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-Dist. 11) of Owings Mills .
Del. Galen R. Clagett (D-Dist. 3A) of Frederick also recently told The Gazette that he could run if Franchot does not seek reelection.
Late Monday, Maryland Juice posted a list of potential candidates that included another Montgomery County delegate rumored to be interested in running.