Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told the Baltimore Sun that he will not run for Maryland governor this year.
Steele, 63, said his family did not support a campaign for the office.
“It’s not something the family wants me to do right now,” Steele told the Sun. “My wife has never been a big fan of the political landscape. At the end of the day, you can’t be governor without the first lady.”
The Republican field aiming to succeed two-term Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan includes state Delegate Dan Cox, who has received Trump’s endorsement, and former state Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz.
“Dan Cox is an America First Patriot who is running for Governor in the Great State of Maryland,” Trump said in a Nov. 22 statement. “A tough lawyer, and smart businessman, Dan has done outstanding work in the Maryland General Assembly.
“Dan is MAGA all the way — unlike his opponent, Kelly Schultz, who was handpicked by her ‘boss,’ RINO Larry Hogan, who has been terrible for our Country and is against the America First Movement.”
Democrat voters outnumber Republicans 2-1 in Maryland, the Sun reported.
Democrats running in the gubernatorial race include two former members of then-President Barack Obama’s Cabinet, former Labor Secretary Tom Perez and former Education Secretary John King.
Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, former Prince George’s County executive Rushern Baker, former Anne Arundel County executive Laura Neuman, state Comptroller Peter Franchot and nonprofit executive Wes Moore also are running, The Hill reported.
Steele, who once trained for the Catholic priesthood, headed the RNC from 2009-2011, and oversaw the GOP regaining control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections. However, he lost a bid for another term in 2011 to Reince Priebus.
Before that, Steele served a single term as Maryland lieutenant governor to Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich.
Steele also ran for an open Senate seat in 2006 — when Democratic Sen. Paul Sarbanes retired — but lost to Democrat Ben Cardin by 10 points.
Steele, a staunch critic of Trump, has joined the Lincoln Project, a group of anti-Trump Republican strategists who mounted advertisements against the then-president ahead of the 2020 elections.
“I’m concerned about the drift that’s taking away from democratic principles,” Steele, a commentator for MSNBC, told the Sun. “I’m concerned people believe in the big lie [that voter fraud cost Trump the 2020 election], because why would you ever want to believe a lie? There was no corruption in this last election, there was no fraud.”