Franchot Positioning Himself to Challenge O’Malley

Unfree State

Republicans are not the only ones who are taking notice of Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s sagging popularity in the polls.

It appears that Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is systematically positioning himself to challenge his fellow Democrat and Montgomery County native. Franchot has publicly challenged O’Malley at meetings and in the media on Maryland land deals and issues like bringing slots to the Unfree State.

Franchot is also going out of his way to play oneupmanship with O’Malley.

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The latest example of this is Franchot publicly calling for the state to invest some of the state employee pension plan’s $38 billion into the Biotech industry.

“The life sciences industry is one of Maryland’s most powerful economic engines…” said Franchot in a statement released Thursday. “On many levels, I believe that a substantial commitment of pension fund resources to this dynamic and fast-growing sector is a sound investment.”

This came only days after O’Malley unveiled a 10-year, $1.1 billion investment strategy for the state’s bio-tech industry.

Franchot’s proposal kills two birds with one stone because it potentially outdoes O’Malley’s funding of the industry, and it wins Franchot big points with Montgomery County voters, where many bio-tech companies are already located.

If O’Malley’s poll numbers continue to tank, look for Franchot to sharpen his knives.

What do you think? Will Franchot eventually challenge O’Malley resulting in a dragged out battle in the Democratic primary?

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