Krishanti Vignarajah, 38, is proud of the factors that distinguish her from her competitors seeking to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the November general election. Beyond the most obvious difference—aside from her, it’s an all-male Democratic primary field—the former Obama administration State Department senior advisor and policy director for Michelle Obama says she stands alone as the only immigrant in the running, having left civil war-plagued Sri Lanka with her parents for Baltimore when she was a child.
“I had the luck of living a life that allowed me to go from Woodlawn High to the White House,” she says. “And I don’t want my life story to be the exception. I want it to be the rule.”