Maryland Attorney General Frosh won’t seek reelection: ‘I don’t want to stay past my sell-by-date’

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh will not seek a third term as the state’s top law enforcement official in 2022.

“I am writing to let you know that after 35 years in public service, I have made the difficult decision not to seek reelection as Attorney General,” Frosh said in a message to staff sent Thursday morning. “My work with you has been the most rewarding, fulfilling and, I believe, productive experience of my professional life.”

Frosh, 75, still has 15 months left in his term.

In one of his first interviews since making the announcement, Frosh told WTOP’s Megan Cloherty, “I think I still have a lot to contribute, and the pedal is going to be to the metal for the rest of my term as attorney general.”

Frosh told WTOP deciding not to seek reelection was a difficult decision.

“I still love the job,” he said. “I still think I’m doing a good job. But I don’t want to stay past my sell-by-date.”

Frosh, who has been popular in office, was reelected in 2018 with nearly 65% of the vote.

“After seven years I think I know a great deal about the job, and I think I’m a better Attorney General every day,” he said. “But there comes a time for everyone when they should call it quits and I don’t want to be on the other end of that. I I hope to be able to leave and have folks say, ‘Well, you did a good job.'”

Frosh also pointed to some logistical challenges with mounting another reelection effort.

“There are a lot of important things to engage on, and I want to focus on that. And I did not want to be distracted by running a campaign at the same time,” he said.

Frosh also said he made his announcement now so that candidates for the post have an opportunity to begin building their campaigns.

A news release from Frosh’s office touted a range of efforts to protect Marylanders from predatory lenders and Wall Street banks, as well as pill mills, gang members and polluters.

His office also pointed to efforts to reform Maryland’s cash-bail system, defending Maryland’s gun safety laws and assisting low-income and vulnerable Marylanders facing eviction and other hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, Frosh frequently joined forces with other left-leaning attorneys general to challenge controversial Trump moves, such as the 2017 travel ban and lawsuits challenging whether Trump illegally profited off the presidency.

Frosh said his decision to leave the AG post when his term ends is not a retirement from public life entirely.

“As attorney general, I have a great deal of leverage and impact, and I won’t as a private citizen,” Frosh said. “But I will still have the ability to make a contribution. I intend to do that,” Frosh said, citing climate change and poverty issues as areas of focus.

Frosh, a native of Montgomery County, represented the 16th District in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1987 to 1995 and in the Maryland Senate from 1995 to 2015.

He was first elected attorney general in 2014.

Frosh’s plan to step down from the post shakes up statewide races next year in Maryland, which includes a wide-open governor’s race since Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is term-limited.

Earlier this week, longtime Maryland Treasurer Nancy Kopp announced she would retire at the end of the year — about a year before her term expires.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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