Does Maggie McIntosh Think Speaker Busch will Retire?

In Sunday’s Sun a story ran about the potential Democratic hopefuls for Governor. There was a lot of talk about the has-beens and never-weres who might be running for Governor, people like Kevin Kamenetz, Rushern Baker, Rich Madaleno, and Doug Gansler.

But the most interesting part of the story has to do with Delegate Maggie McIntosh. Back in November, we broke the story that McIntosh was looking at running either for Comptroller or for Governor. It seems like she’s reversed course:

Del. Maggie McIntosh evaluated a run for governor, and even printed “McIntosh 2018” bumper stickers. But the Baltimore Democrat, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, said Friday she had concluded in recent weeks that “my heart led me right back to the legislature.”

“I have thought long and hard on this, looked at numbers, and I think living through that last session and being able to help and to work with city leaders to help the city schools [with funding], I have decided the best place for me is in the legislature,” she said.

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In a vacuum, it seems like McIntosh would just be reading the tea leaves that a radically left-wing member of the House of Delegates would have no shot at being elected Governor. The last Governor to move directly from the General Assembly was Governor Marvin Mandel in 1969, and he was only elected to replaced newly-elected Vice-President Spiro Agnew. The last member of the General Assembly elected by the people as Governor was Oden Bowie in 1869. It’s a tough road for a legislator to run for statewide office.

But this move may not be about the Governor’s mansion at all.

Recently there has been much speculation about the health of Speaker Mike Busch. Everybody here at Red Maryland hopes the best for the Speaker and his health. However, that does not mean that there aren’t political calculations that people, particularly legislative Democrats, are making when it comes to the Speaker’s future. And to that end, what if Maggie McIntosh isn’t running for Governor because she expects Speaker Busch to retire?

It’s not out of the realm of possibility, and McIntosh stands to gain politically from a Busch retirement.  It has long been speculated that McIntosh is next in line to be Speaker if Busch were to retire or to be defeated in the 2018 general election. That McIntosh would remove herself from the list of possible candidates running statewide indicates that she expects other avenues to power will be open for her.

Obviously, this is all speculative. But reading the tea leaves it makes it clear that Maggie McIntosh may know something the rest of us do not.

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