Peter Franchot stood behind Joe Bartenfelder's farm stand Sunday looking a bit out of place when a woman walked up and wanted to buy some onions and potatoes.
The comptroller who hails from Takoma Park fumbled to open a plastic bag as he added up her purchases.
"That's $4.00," Franchot said as he introduced himself as the chief tax state tax collector.
"How much change do I get back?" the woman playfully fired back.
And just then, Bartenfelder, the former Baltimore County councilman, stepped in.
"Nooo," he said with a smile as he reached for the 10 spot. "We don't let him handle the money."
And so began Franchot's introduction to the crowd and vendors who braved the stormy weather for the Baltimore Farmer's Market Sunday.
The two Democrats forged a friendship when both served in the House of Delegates and were on the Appropriations Committee together.
Both men are now the subject of talk regarding their political futures.
Franchot is considered to be already running for governor in 2014. Some have said his interest in the lack of air conditioning in classrooms in Baltimore City and Baltimore and Garrett Counties is, in part, a set up for that campaign.
If having Bartenfelder introduce him around to the farmers from Harford and Baltimore and Montgomery Counties was part of the campaign, Franchot was admitting to it.
"That's years from now," Franchot said of the 2014 campaign. "I just find getting out and talking to people like this is wonderful."
Bartenfelder has been all but out of politics since his 2010 primary loss to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. After the wink-wink nod-nod non-endorsement endorsement of Ken Holt, Kamenetz's Republican rival, the farmer from Fullerton has been out of the spotlight save for a few community meetings.
There is speculation Bartenfelder might return to elected politics.
The proposal to redraw the county's seven council districts moves his home out of his former 6th District, which is now represented by Democrat Cathy Bevins. If approved, Bartenfelder, who some describe as a conservative Democrat, would be in the 5th District which is represented by David Marks, a freshman Republican described by some as moderate.
Bartenfelder could also run for the House of Delegates again depending on how the 8th District is redrawn.
Franchot didn't miss the chance to encourage his friend.
"We need more people like you in the Democratic Party," Franchot said.
Bartenfelder isn't saying if either is a serious consideration.
"I'm not saying I am and I'm not saying I won't," said Bartenfelder. "It's just not something I'm putting any weight on right now."