**FILE** Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate John King Jr. and running mate Michelle Siri (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate John King Jr. and running mate Michelle Siri (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

Maryland governor hopeful John King Jr. released two statewide television ads last week to highlight two major attributes about himself: education and family history.

The former U.S. secretary of education and Democratic gubernatorial candidate mentions in the first ad how a public-school education and teachers “saved my life” after the death of his mother at age 8 and his father at age 12.

The other 30-second spot, titled “Three Generations,” speaks of his enslaved ancestors living in a log cabin 25 miles from where his daughter now attends public school in Silver Spring in Montgomery County.

“In Maryland, success isn’t guaranteed, but opportunity should be,” King said in the video released Wednesday. “Every family deserves the same, regardless of who you are and where you come from.”

The King campaign said the television spot is part of a six-figure ad buy.

King and his running mate Michelle Siri aren’t the only team to release campaign ads in the quest to succeed Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who is term-limited and will complete his second four-year term in January.

Another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former nonprofit executive Jon Baron, released a video Tuesday on his various social media channels.

It shows Baron shaving in the bathroom as he explains his efforts to improve education such as recruiting recent college graduates and retirees to help tutor struggling first- and second-grade students.

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Jon Baron (right) with running mate Natalie Williams (Courtesy of Baron-Williams for Maryland)

After Baron’s dressed in a red tie and suit jacket, he attempts to make a phone call with a disconnected cord from a rotary phone.

“Now that you’re clean-shaven, Jon, let’s get serious,” Baron’s running mate Natalie Williams said near the end of the video.

Other Democratic gubernatorial candidates showcased commercials over the airwaves, including former nonprofit executive and military veteran Wes Moore, former Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez and state Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Former Maryland Labor Secretary Kelly Schulz, a Republican candidate endorsed by Hogan, also released a television ad this year.

The crowded field shrunk slightly after former Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman decided to drop out of the race.

Neuman, who announced her bid for the governor’s seat in January, had been the only woman in the Democratic field.

According to a statement from the Franchot campaign, Neuman will endorse the comptroller.

“I entered the gubernatorial race because I believe that every Marylander deserves access to opportunities to thrive, regardless of where their story starts,” she said in the statement. “I am proud to endorse Peter Franchot for Governor, and Monique Anderson-Walker for Lt. Governor, because I know they share my commitment to delivering positive, lasting changes that improve the quality of life for all Marylanders.”

The primary election will be held July 19 and the general election Nov. 8.

The other Democratic candidates are former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain, Jerome Segal, who founded the former Bread and Roses Party, and Ralph Jaffe of Baltimore County, who said in his campaign announcement that he’ll use it as an opportunity “to show my students where the corruption is.”

The other three Republicans are Del. Daniel Cox, who represents parts of Carroll and Frederick counties and received support from former President Donald Trump, former state Del. Robin Ficker of Montgomery County and Joe Werner of Baltimore County.

Because Maryland primaries are only open for Democrats and Republicans, two other candidates — Libertarian David Lashar of Annapolis and independent Kyle Sefcik of Montgomery County — registered for the general election.

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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