Prince George’s County Council Chair Calvin Hawkins II, who initially supported former County Executive Rushern L. Baker III's bid for the 2022 Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nomination, gives his endorsement for author and military veteran Wes Moore (right) during a June 16 press conference at Moore's campaign headquarters in Largo. Standing next to Moore are (from left) Sens. Paul Pinsky and Ron Watson. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
Prince George’s County Council Chair Calvin Hawkins II, who initially supported former County Executive Rushern L. Baker III's bid for the 2022 Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nomination, gives his endorsement for author and military veteran Wes Moore (right) during a June 16 press conference at Moore's campaign headquarters in Largo. Standing next to Moore are (from left) Sens. Paul Pinsky and Ron Watson. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

In the wake of former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III dropping out of the Maryland governor’s race, some of his backers say they will now lend their support to author and former nonprofit executive Wes Moore.

Sen. Malcolm Augustine (D-District 47) of Cheverly, who resides in the same town as Baker, called him “my mentor” and “a friend.”

When Baker decided to suspend his campaign for the Democratic nomination, Augustine said he chatted with the other candidates and ultimately chose Moore.

“He wants to be a partner. He builds consensus,” he said Thursday near Moore’s Prince George’s County campaign office in Largo. “He inspires and that is something we desperately need in leadership. It’s why I am really proud to endorse him.”

Augustine joined other state and county officials from Prince George’s who announced their support for more in the majority Black jurisdiction less than a month before the July 19 primary.

Baker wasn’t in attendance Thursday but has said he will make his decision on who to endorse soon.

The importance of garnering support in Prince George’s stems largely from the county having Maryland’s highest percentage of registered Democrats.

County Council Chair Calvin Hawkins II acknowledge that fact Thursday.

“There was a commitment that I had made to my former boss, Rushern Baker,” Hawkins said. “Now Mr. Baker is no longer in the race. My team and I are 100% fully invested [and] prepared to work where you work in Prince George’s County. History is looking on us.”

Moore has already banked several key endorsements in the county, including State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy, County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, state Sen. Obie Patterson and Bowie Mayor Pro Tem Adrian Boafo.

Moore and his running mate, former Del. Aruna Miller of Montgomery County, reported in Tuesday’s campaign cycle with the highest amount of cash on hand with $2.1 million.

A Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll showed Democrat and state Comptroller Peter Franchot ahead with 20% of likely Democratic voters to choose him and lieutenant governor candidate Monique Anderson-Walker, a former Prince George’s County Council member. The Franchot campaign reported $1.6 million cash on hand.

Moore came in second in the poll at 15%.

Meanwhile, some Prince George’s officials said Thursday the goal will be to make history.

A Moore win in the primary and the November general election would make him the first African American ever elected governor. Miller would be the first American Indian woman elected as lieutenant governor.

Moore said he’s told he often visits Prince George’s.

“Get used to it,” he said with a smile.

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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