Elizabeth Embry making return to politics as Rushern Baker’s running mate for governor

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Rushern Baker (right) and Elizabeth Embry.

Two years after falling to would-be Mayor Catherine Pugh in the 2016 mayoral primary, high-ranking Maryland attorney Elizabeth Embry is re-entering the political limelight as Rushern Baker’s running mate in this year’s governor’s race.

The Washington Post broke the news Tuesday morning that Embry, currently chief of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office’s Criminal Division, will be running for lieutenant governor alongside Baker, a second-term Prince George’s County executive. An official announcement is expected today.

Baker’s campaign hasn’t responded to a request for comment from Baltimore Fishbowl. Rumors emerged last month that Embry was on Baker’s short list for running mates.

Before working under Attorney General Brian Frosh, Embry served in various positions in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, including as a felony prosecutor and as deputy’s state’s attorney, and in the city’s law department.

She’s well-remembered for her 2016 campaign for mayor, in which she ran on a platform that brought a holistic approach to tackling Baltimore’s rising crime rate through improvements to education, economic opportunities, investment, public health and housing availability. (Read more in our Big Fish interview from March 2016.)

In the end, she pulled just under 12 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary for mayor, finishing in third behind former Mayor Sheila Dixon (35 percent) and Pugh (37 percent).

Embry’s father, Robert Embry Jr., was a Baltimore City councilman and school board president, and served as the city’s housing commissioner during the William Donald Schaefer administration. He’s now the president of the Abell Foundation.

She’s joined a strong contender in this year’s Democratic primary for governor. Baker scored the highest marks among would-be voters in a Gonzales Research poll conducted in late December and early January, reaching 24 percent of Marylanders’ hypothetical votes, ahead of former NAACP president Ben Jealous and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (both 14 percent) and state Sen. Richard Madaleno (5 percent).

Of course, one-third of respondents in that poll were undecided on a candidate, which leaves much up in the air as we approach the June 26 Democratic primary.

Baker is the third candidate in the last week to announce a running mate. Baltimore-based tech entrepreneur and author Alec Ross yesterday revealed Silver Spring-based craft brewer Julie Verratti as his lieutenant governor pick, and a day earlier, Madaleno announced he’d chosen Baltimore-native businesswoman Luwanda Jenkins.

Another big name in Baltimore politics entered the fold last week as well, when word got out that local defense attorney Jim Shea, also running for governor, had picked Councilman Brandon Scott as his running mate.

Jealous has already picked Susan Turnbull, formerly vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, to join him on the ticket.

Kamenetz, Krish Vignarajah, who used to be Michelle Obama’s policy director during the Obama presidency, and perennial candidate Ralph Jaffe have until Feb. 27 to announce their lieutenant governor picks.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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