ANNAPOLIS, MD (WUSA/AP)--Maryland's top money guy put an end to speculaton Tuesday. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot told a group he won't run for governor in 2014, and he plans to seek re-election as comptroller. Franchot has been comptroller since 2006.
Franchot, a Democrat who has often been a voice of dissent on the state's three-member Board of Public Works in his six years as the state's tax collector, made the announcement in a letter to supporters.
Here is Franchot's complete statement:
"As we approach the heart of the holiday season and the end of 2012, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued friendship. Indeed, I have so much to be thankful for this year - from my good health and wonderful family, to the support of so many good friends and the opportunity to serve the people of Maryland in what is undoubtedly the best job I have ever had.
"In that spirit of sincere gratitude, I would also like to let you know that I have decided to seek re-election as Comptroller of Maryland in 2014. This is a decision that I have made after a great deal of personal reflection, and with the sound and thoughtful advice of my wife, Anne, and my two children, Abbe and Nick. It is no secret that in recent months, I have given thought to running for governor. I am humbled by the extraordinary support that my prospective campaign received in every corner of our state, and I am now more convinced than ever that there is a shared desire among Marylanders - irrespective of ideology or party affiliation - for an honest conversation of the fiscal and economic challenges that still lie ahead.
"I look forward to engaging in that conversation from my office in the Goldstein Treasury Building. I have developed an abiding love for a Comptroller's Office that has been recognized as the best in the nation, and is admired throughout the State of Maryland for its high standards of efficiency and professionalism.
"Like so many people on my team, I have devoted my career to providing businesses and families with the exceptional customer service they deserve, while ensuring that everybody pays their fair share of taxes. At the same time, I have relished the opportunity to serve as an independent voice and a tough fiscal watchdog for the taxpayers - whether by opposing wasteful spending on the Board of Public Works, fighting to hold the line on state debt, protecting tax filers from fraudulent preparers, or leading by example and doing a better job for less money within my own office.
"After nearly six years as Comptroller, it is still a profound honor to hold the office that once belonged to the likes of J. Millard Tawes, Louis Goldstein and William Donald Schaefer. By their words and actions, those Maryland giants set a timeless standard for honorable public service that is still reflected in the Comptroller's Office today. My goal is to do my job and lead the Comptroller's Office in a manner that honors their shared legacy.
"Accordingly, I am looking forward to the year ahead with great anticipation. Thanks to my exceptional team of professionals, I expect to move closer than ever before to a paper-free tax filing season (and will remind you that by filing electronically, you can help my office save taxpayer money while ensuring that you receive your refund within three business days).
"We also look forward to doing our part to create a level playing field, as well as a fair and predictable regulatory environment, for Maryland businesses that employ local people and reinvest in local communities. I will continue to advocate for a course in financial literacy as a high school graduation requirement. Finally, I shall continue to respect the sacrifice of Maryland's taxpayers by ensuring that their hard-earned money is spent wisely, and by opposing initiatives that, however well-intentioned, would further weaken an economy that remains fundamentally fragile. These are neither Democratic nor Republican priorities - these are Maryland priorities that are rooted in sheer common sense. As always, I welcome and look forward to your feedback and advice on these important issues.
"In closing, I would again like to thank you for your friendship and support, while wishing you and your family a peaceful holiday season."