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Michael Steele, former RNC chair, forms exploratory committee for 2022 Maryland governor's raace

Steele's entry into the race would shake things up, as state Republicans vie to replace Larry Hogan

Updated: July 23, 2021 - 7:51am

Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has formed an exploratory committee for a potential 2022 bid at the Maryland governorship.

There are currently three Republicans and nine Democrats officially in the race to replace GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, who has maxed out his terms in office. 

Steele served as the state's first black lieutenant governor, in addition to leading the RNC from 2009-2011. There are rumors that Steele, a staunch critic of former President Trump, may run as an Independent. However, Republican strategist Jim Dornan, who is leading Steele's exploratory committee, says "that is not our intention at this time."

Steele, a regular contributor on MSNBC, says he voted for Joe Biden.

The Republican is banking on Trump's influence being limited among Maryland voters.

"We do not believe the former president’s influence in the state is as strong as it is in a Southern state," Dornan said.

Steele has said he will make a decision this fall on whether he will formally enter the race.