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'I can enjoy retirement': Franchot discusses accomplishments, future after 16 years as Maryland Comptroller

'I can enjoy retirement': Franchot discusses accomplishments, future after 16 years as Maryland Comp
'I can enjoy retirement': Franchot discusses accomplishments, future after 16 years as Maryland Comp 02:10

BALTIMORE -- A new Maryland comptroller will be elected next month.

Current comptroller Peter Franchot has held that office for 16 years.

So what's next for Franchot?

He discussed his career and his future with WJZ reporter Jessica Albert.

Franchot summed up his decade-plus as Maryland Comptroller as "Unbought. Unbossed. Scandal free."

He said those actions are unusual when it comes to politics and staying in office for as long as he did.

Franchot will relinquish his Comptroller duties in January when his replacement is sworn in.

"That's pretty unusual and a real recommendation to other folks to try to emulate," Franchot said.

Before he was elected as Maryland's Comptroller, Franchot was a state delegate for two decades.

He spent much of this year running for governor but lost in July's primary.

"I don't regret running for governor, but it was good candidate, wrong race," Franchot said.

Now, Franchot is taking a look back at his four terms in the comptroller's office, noting the record-breaking surplus the state gained during the pandemic.

"As I exit, I'm very comfortable in saying that we played a major role in assembling that $10 billion surplus that allowed us to get through without tax increases or major cuts in social programs," Franchot said.

Plus, he worked to eliminate fraud that was costing the state billions, provided unwavering support for small business and efforted to boost the state economy.

Democrat delegate Brooke Lierman or Republican Harford County Executive Barry Glassman will take Franchot's spot.

Franchot said whoever wins needs to prepare to carry on his legacy to transform the office.

"They have to make sure they understand we've turned it from a rather sleepy, kind of what is the comptroller and who is the comptroller type situation," Franchot said. "We turned it into a national center of excellence and customer service."

When he leaves office, Franchot said he looks forward to a change in pace.

"I'm much more interested in returning to being a normal person," Franchot said. "I can enjoy retirement. I can enjoy my grandkids. I can get away from the stress of always being on."

However, Franchot said he won't be out of the game.

Before he's done, he plans to launch a new office for fraud detection, and wants to help the new governor and legislature run it.

"I want to be the same kind of change agent that I've been on the inside" Franchot said. "I want to take that and apply it to the outside also."

He also said he wants to spend some time thanking the voters.

"The public has been terrific to me as far as reelecting me to be comptroller four times and I'm very grateful to them and certainly intend to do what I can to pay it back over the next few years," Franchot said.

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