Another Democrat has joined the fight for the Maryland governor’s seat, and this one has some experience serving in elected office.
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III announced this morning that he’ll be running in the Democratic primary next spring. While it’s big news, his candidacy was widely expected, as he’s been talking about why he would make a good governor for most of the year.
Baker, who’s served in office since December 2010, shared a video announcement that begins with a drone shot of the Baltimore harbor, followed by brief childhood anecdotes about his father coming home from serving in Vietnam and how Baker corrected his poor adolescent behavior to be become his family’s first college graduate. It gets emotional, with clips showing him taking care of his wife, Christa, who lives with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Politically, Baker sticks mostly to education, jobs and health care as talking points in the video. He also touts some of his successes as county executive: ethics reforms, helping bring crime to a 30-year low, investing in jobs and graduating more students from high school.
“Everything that’s supposed to be up is up, and everything that’s supposed to be down is down,” he says.
His goal for Maryland, he notes, is “to build a future that works for all of us. Maryland must be a barrier against hate and beacon for hope and opportunity.”
The Democratic primary field is growing, but it’s not quite cramped yet. Tech entrepreneur and former Hillary Clinton aide Alec Ross announced his candidacy first in April. Next was Montgomery County state Sen. Richard Madaleno, who told supporters at a Metro rally in early May that he’s also running. Former NAACP president Ben Jealous followed late last month.
Many expect Rushern’s Baltimore County counterpart Kevin Kamenetz to join the fray. Other names tossed in the ring so far include former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, current Attorney General Brian Frosh and U.S. Rep. John Delaney.
It’s an uphill climb. While a large number of dwellers in blue-heavy Baltimore would like to see a Democrat unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, the incumbent has enjoyed some very high statewide approval ratings over the last year.
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