Gov. Martin O’Malley’s final State of the State Address did not impress two Republicans vying to be his successor.
Following the speech, in which O’Malley touted his administration’s achievements and called for a minimum wage increase, Harford County Executive David Craig and Change Maryland chairman Larry Hogan each called the address misleading, and attacked what they called the governor’s lack of transparency.
"Year after year, this governor has provided nothing more than lip service to hundreds of thousands of hard working Maryland families who look to their governor for leadership,” Larry Hogan said in a statement released to the news media.
Both candidates criticized O’Malley’s claim to have cut the state government budget by $9.1 billion since taking office.
"We have heard for several years now the growing amount of money in so-called 'cuts' to the budget, when in fact the budget has grown $10 billion during the O'Malley and Brown terms. Over 70 tax, fee and toll increases are hurting the economy, reducing employment compared to other states in the region and is taking more money for more government," Craig said in his statement on the speech.
The candidates also were critical of the O’Malley administration’s health care exchange website that has been plagued with technical problems, and said there has not been enough transparency about how the system is actually performing.
"While Governor O'Malley acknowledged the failure of his Administration and Lt. Gov. Brown to implement Obamacare, there are important facts missing among the many statistics he likes to choose,” Craig said.
Hogan and Craig are running against Del. Ron George, Charles Lollar and Brian Vaeth in the Republican primary scheduled for June.