Former Baltimore County Councilman Douglas B. Riley has become the first candidate to file for the office of county executive.
Joined by his wife, his parents and a few campaign workers, the Towson Republican handed over his $25 filing fee at the county Board of Elections on Friday while pledging to campaign for more open government.
"I think Baltimore County is a good place," Riley said. "But I think it can be better."
Riley, 48, stepped down from the council in 1998, keeping a pledge to limit himself to two terms.
Riley faces a daunting challenge in a county where Democratic voters outnumber Republicans by more than 2-to-1.
He said a candidate in the November election will have to raise $600,000 to $1 million. The lawyer said he has raised $100,000.
The county has elected two Republican county executives in the past four decades, Roger B. Hayden in 1990 and Spiro T. Agnew in 1962.
The current executive, Democrat C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, has served two terms and is barred by term limits from seeking a third.
James T. Smith Jr., a Democrat and former county circuit judge, has announced his candidacy but has not filed with the county.