Courtesy photo

If Maryland Democratic leaders continue their aggressive pursuit to obtain the governor’s office, it would mark the first time someone from the party held the position since Martin O’Malley in January 2015.
As of June 30, eight people publicly announced to seek the Democratic nomination that features former federal officials, businessmen and nonprofit executives.
Former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. and author Wes Moore seek to become the first Black candidate to become governor and Ashwani Jain as the state’s first of Indian descent.
Six of the candidates reside in Montgomery County.
However, there are no women.
Former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III continues to explore his options on whether to formally enter the primary election that takes place June 28, 2022.
Todd Eberly, political science professor at St. Mary’s College in St. Mary’s, Md., said history rests with the Democrats as Gov. Larry Hogan represents the only Republican re-elected as Maryland governor since the 1950s.
Although Hogan has received high approval ratings in various polls for his work since 2015, state law limits a person to maintain the governor’s office for two, four-year terms. Hogan’s final term expires in January 2023.
“It just seems unlikely that lightning will strike for a third time for the GOP,” Eberly said. “It is virtually a certainty that a Democrat will win. Why wouldn’t you want to throw your hat in the ring?”
He said state Comptroller Peter Franchot, the first Democrat to announce his candidacy, continues to be the front-runner. According to Franchot’s campaign filing in January, he has $2.2 million cash on hand.
“He’s got the experience of winning statewide. He’s recently been on the ballot as compared to Baker or Gansler, who both failed gubernatorial campaigns,” Eberly said. “That sort of works to the advantage of Franchot.”
Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, who resides in Frederick County, became the first candidate in April to announce her intentions to seek the Republican nomination. Perennial candidate Robin Ficker also seeks the GOP nomination.
Del. Daniel Cox, a Republican who represents portions of Frederick and Carroll counties and supporter of former President Donald Trump, established a gubernatorial fundraising committee on June 28.
There’s still an unknown on whether former Maryland Lt. Gov. and Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele will enter the GOP race. Steele can be seen as a political commentator on MSNBC.
Eberly said some Maryland Republicans, especially those who vote in the primaries, resemble conservatives in the national party.
“They backed Hogan twice because I think they recognized that he was going to win, but we are all aware that the fact in the conservative wings that there are a lot of Republican rank-and-file who aren’t happy with Hogan. They aren’t happy with the fact that he isn’t a supporter of Trump,” he said. “They don’t think he was conservative enough. Steele even goes a step beyond that. I just think it would be a very tough primary for him.”
Here’s a summary of the Democratic candidates seeking the state’s top office:

Jon Baron (Courtesy of Jon Baron for Maryland)

Jon Baron
Age: 58
Residency: Montgomery County
Major occupations: Full-time candidate; founder and president of Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy for 14 years
Website: www.jonbaron.com


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Peter Franchot (Photo courtesy of Maryland.gov)

Peter Franchot
Age: 73
Residency: Montgomery County
Major occupations: Maryland comptroller since January 2007; former state delegate
Website: www.franchot.com


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Doug Gansler (Courtesy of Gansler for Governor)

Doug Gansler
Age: 58
Residency: Montgomery County
Major occupations: partner for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Northwest; former Maryland attorney general from 2007 to 2015
Website: www.douggansler.com


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Ashwani Jain (Courtesy of Jain for Governor)

Ashwani Jain
Age: 31
Residency: Montgomery County
Major occupations: program director for the National Kidney Foundation serving the DMV; director of outreach for the “Cancer Moonshot Summit” for then-Vice President Joe Biden
Website: www.jainforgovernor.com
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John King Jr. (Courtesy of John King for Governor)

John King Jr.
Age: 47
Residency: Montgomery County
Major occupations: president and CEO of the Education Trust; former U.S. Education Secretary under President Barack Obama
Website: www.johnkingforgovernor.com

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Wes Moore (Courtesy photo)

Wes Moore
Age: 42
Residency: Baltimore
Major occupation: Author of “The Other Wes Moore” and “Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City;” former chief executive officer for Robin Hood Foundation
Website: www.wesmoore.com
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Tom Perez (Courtesy of Tom Perez for Maryland)

Tom Perez
Age: 59
Residency: Montgomery County
Major occupations: Part-time partner at the law firm Venable in Northwest; former Democratic National Committee chair
Website: www.tomperez.com

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Mike Rosenbaum (Courtesy of Mike Rosenbaum for Governor)

Mike Rosenbaum
Age: 49
Residency: Baltimore
Main occupations: founder of software firms, Catalyte and Arena; former economist under the Bill Clinton administration
Website: www.mikerosenbaum.com
Editor’s Note: The Washington Informer interviewed and plans to schedule future interviews of the Democratic candidates on its “WIN-TV” online program between 12-1 p.m. Fridays. Check out the live broadcast at facebook.com/washingtoninformer.

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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