Former nonprofit executive Jon Baron announced his running mate Friday in his bid for the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor.
Baron chose Natalie Williams, a Bowie resident who currently works as communications and public affairs director for the Maryland Business Roundtable of Education.
Williams, 50, a Prince George’s County native born on Andrews Air Force Base and graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in Upper Marlboro.
Williams unsuccessfully ran for D.C. City Council to represent Ward 8 during a special election in 2012 and in 2015. Before her run in 2012, she worked as a spokesperson for the late former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.
Williams served as chair of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8A in the city and president of the Ward 8 Democratic Party.
She’s also a health care advocate and diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, which she underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. To help other women of color, she founded the Natalie Williams Breast Care Foundation.
“My whole career has been about communicating with people — about healthcare, about education, about the politics and policies that affect their everyday lives,” Williams said in a statement.
“Communication is at the core of public service and good government, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to bring my years of experience to the campaign trail and to Annapolis.”
Baron praises Williams’ work in the public sector, executive positions and as a health care advocate which included serving as vice president of advancement for the Maryland University of Integrative Health located in Laurel.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Natalie join the campaign,” Baron said in a statement. “She’s had an incredible career in public service…She will make a terrific partner on the campaign trail and an excellent lieutenant governor. I can’t wait for the voters of Maryland to get to know her better.”
Baron becomes the fifth Democratic candidate to select a Black woman as a running mate.
Comptroller Peter Franchot became the first to select former Prince George’s County Council member Monique Anderson-Walker.
Ashwani Jain, a former official with President Barack Obama, chose LaTrese Hawkins Lytes of Prince George’s as his running mate, whom his campaign described as a mother of four and longtime Marylander.
Former Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez named former Baltimore City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed for his choice as lieutenant governor.
Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler chose former Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth.
Three other Democratic candidates also chose woman of color as running mates:
- Author and former nonprofit CEO Wes Moore selected engineer and former state Del. Aruna Miller of Montgomery County.
- Former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III selected Montgomery County Council member Nancy Navaro.
- Former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. chose women’s rights advocate Michelle Siri.
Three other gubernatorial candidates running in the July 19 primary election chose women to run as running mates.
Republican candidate Del. Daniel Cox, who represents portions of Carroll and Frederick counties, selected Gordana Schifanelli, an attorney from Queen Anne’s County.
Another Republican, Joe Werner of Baltimore County, chose Minh Thanh Luong.
Libertarian candidate David Lashar of Annapolis chose Christiana Logansmith, a Navy veteran who owns a commercial cleaning company in Anne Arundel County. They will run in the general election.
The two other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination are Jerome Segal, who founded the former Bread and Roses Party and has a running mate, Justinian M. Dispenza of Kent County; and former Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman, who formally announced her candidacy in January.
The other Republican candidates are Perennial candidate and former state Del. Robin Ficker of Montgomery County; and former Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz. She chose Jeff Woolford, a lieutenant colonel in the Maryland Air National Guard who resides in Carroll County, as her running mate.
The second, four-year term for Gov. Larry Hogan expires in January.