By Len Lazarick
To the surprise of practically no one in Republican circles, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman announced Tuesday night in his State of the County speech that he would not be running for U.S. Senate.
What had been a surprise was that Glassman was considering a run for Senate at all, having just been elected in 2014 to what he described as a boyhood dream.
He said at the end of Tuesday’s speech, “But most of you who know me well, know that I have always dreamed of being county executive since my days as a scrawny farm boy in Level…. Some dreams are fleeting; others meant to last awhile…So I guess what I am trying to say is, I am not quite ready for this dream to be over.”
Many politicians explore running for higher office, but most do it privately, consulting with supporters, donors, campaign consultants and pollsters.
What was so unusual about Glassman’s exploration was his release of a poll to MarylandReporter.com in November, and his open discussion of the race.
What was that all about?
In a phone interview, Glassman admitted, “It could be just a bit of inexperience” in exploring the race so publicly. “There wasn’t really any grand plan.”
He said he took a look at the race because “you have these folks who talk to you,” encouraging him to run. “There seemed to be some fairly heavy hitters” who believed a contentious Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat Barbara Mikulski is giving up could give a Republican a shot to win.
He denied that he had anything against House of Delegates Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga, who represents parts of Harford County. Glassman released his poll the day before she announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
Glassman also said he was not targeting the 1st Congressional District seat now held by Rep. Andy Harris. But Glassman did admit than more than half the people he spoke to suggested “you ought to run for Congress” but “that was really never the thing.”
Glassman conceded that many of his current constituents were unhappy that he was considering leaving the job he had just won.
“I’m learning, I’m learning,” said Glassman.