Bowie, Maryland, Mayor Tim Adams on Tuesday launched an explanatory committee to become the state’s first Black comptroller for the 2022 election.
The 63-year-old Adams, who in 2019 was elected as the first Black mayor in Bowie’s 138-year history, will rely on his experience as owner of Upper Marlboro-based Systems Application & Technologies Inc. (SA-TECH). The company, which employs more than 600 and has annual revenues of nearly $100 million, provides technology, engineering and other support services for the defense industry.
“Our procurement system offers prohibitive advantages to incumbent vendors with the best lobbyists and connections,” Adams said in a statement. “As a result, our taxpayers are not getting the best services for the best prices, and Maryland’s small businesses are being deprived of a fair chance to succeed.”
He said the current economic structure favor vendors “with the best lobbyists and connections.”
“Some would say that fiscal accountability and economic justice are contradictory goals. I strongly disagree — my experience has shown that we must have the former in order to achieve the latter,” Adams said. “Until we get our fiscal house in order and build a 21st-century economy that actually offers opportunity to all Marylanders, we will not be able to sustain our investments in those priorities that matter to all of us.”
Prince George’s State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy will chair Adams’ exploratory committee, while county school board member David Murry will serve as coordinator.
Adams noted he would also make history by being the first Black independently elected to a statewide office. Three other Blacks — Michael Steele, Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Maryland) and current Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford — were elected as lieutenant governors on tickets with white gubernatorial candidates.
Besides being the state’s tax collector, the comptroller, also serves alongside the governor and state treasurer on the Maryland Board of Public Works, which approves government contracts and other spending.
Current Comptroller Peter Franchot, who’s held the position since 2007, has already announced plans to run for governor. Gov. Larry Hogan will complete his second and final four-year term next year.
Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore City) became the first person to announce her candidacy for comptroller last month.