John King, who led education in New York State and for the Obama administration, is running for Maryland governor in 2022.

Baltimore Fishbowl asked candidates running in this year’s election to share their views on the three most important challenges facing Baltimore and the region, and solutions they support to make progress. We asked candidates to submit a video answering that question, so you can hear their ideas and goals in their own words.

John King, a Democrat and former U.S. Secretary of Education in the Obama administration, is running for governor, and named public safety, improving quality of life and guaranteeing every child a world-class public education as the three most important issues he would address as governor.


For the three top issues in Baltimore that I laid out in my ‘One Baltimore’ plan, and will address as governor are: making sure the city is safe for the public; improving quality of life; and guaranteeing every child a world-class public education.

First, will reimagine public safety by recognizing that policing alone is not enough. We need policing plus mental health and addiction services, plus real investment in safe streets and other violence intervention programs, plus re-entry programs for formerly incarcerated people, and plus rec centers, and summer jobs programs for our youth.

Second, we will make real progress on quality-of-life issues by building an all-rail Red Line, restoring 7,500 vacant properties by 2030 and ending environmental injustice.

And finally, we will treat the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future as the floor and not the ceiling for investment in public education. Fix the air conditioning and heating in our schools, invest in after-school programs, mental health supports for students and their families and universal affordable childcare.

We will tackle the systemic issues the city faces head-on and strive to transform our government into a force for good in the lives of everyone in Baltimore.

Biographical Information

Name: John King

Age: 47

Political Party: Democratic

Professional Background: Mr. King served as New York Education Commissioner before becoming Deputy Secretary and later Secretary of Education during the Obama administration. He is also CEO of The Education Trust, and his family has deep roots in Maryland. He holds degrees from Harvard University, Yale University and Columbia University.

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David Nitkin

David Nitkin is the Executive Editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He is an award-winning journalist, having worked as State House Bureau Chief, White House Correspondent, Politics Editor and Metropolitan Editor...