Gubernatorial race full of connections with Montgomery County


With two more people declaring their gubernatorial campaign this week, the pool of candidates with ties to Montgomery County continues to grow.

Jon Baron, a former nonprofit executive who worked under three presidential administrations, and Tom Perez, a former U.S. Secretary of Labor, are the last two Montgomery County residents to enter the Democratic primary for governor.

Baron, who lives in Bethesda, announced his candidacy on Monday. Most recently, he was Vice President of Evidence-Based Policy at Arnold Ventures, a philanthropic organization that donates to criminal justice, education, health care and public finance based on research and data-driven solutions.

Perez, who lives in Takoma Park, announced his candidacy on Wednesday. He was Labor Secretary to President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017 and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee from February 2017 to January 2021. He also served as a Montgomery County City Councilor from 2002 to 2006.

Other Democratic candidates from or living in Montgomery County:

  • Wes Moore, former nonprofit executive, Rhodes scholar and military veteran. He was born in Takoma Park before moving to Baltimore at a young age
  • Peter Franchot, State Controller for over a decade. Prior to that, he was State Delegate representing Montgomery County for 20 years. He lives in Takoma Park.
  • Doug Gansler, former Maryland Attorney General for eight years and former Montgomery State Attorney for eight years. He lives in Bethesda.
  • Ashwani Jain, who served under former President Barack Obama in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and ran for a General County Council seat in 2018. He lives in Potomac.
  • John King Jr., former Secretary of Education under Obama and current nonprofit education leader. He lives in Silver Spring.
  • Mike Rosenbaum, who runs a Baltimore-based workforce recruiting and technology company. He was born in Montgomery County and has lived in Baltimore for over two decades.

The ninth Democrat who has pledged to run is former Prince George County executive Rushern Baker III.

On the Republicans’ side, Robin Ficker, activist and former state delegate, who lives in Boyds, and Maryland Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schulz, who lives in Frederick County, have declared their candidacies.

Charkoudian and Lopez launch re-election campaigns

Of the. Lorig Charkoudian (D-Takoma Park), who was elected to the House of Delegates in 2018, hosted a re-election launch event on Wednesday evening.

Several other members of Montgomery’s delegation joined her at the event, as well as U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen.

“So proud of the work we have done and can’t wait to get to whatever is left,” Charkoudian wrote in a tweet. “Join us to build a fairer and more inclusive MD! “

In District 39, Del. Lesley Lopez (D-Germantown) is also running for a second term.

She announced her plans in an email to supporters on Wednesday and wrote that she was hosting a virtual launch fundraising event on July 15.

One of his guests will be US Representative David Trone (D-Potomac).

Jawando backs Moore for governor

Will Jawando became the first Montgomery County Council member to endorse a gubernatorial candidate, choosing Wes Moore, a former CEO of a nonprofit organization and military veteran.

Jawando and Moore visited businesses in Silver Spring on Wednesday. Moore announced his candidacy for governor this month.

“He has the lived and professional experience to help us tackle wealth inequality and expand opportunities for every resident of Maryland,” Jawando wrote in a Moore endorsing tweet.

Moore is the former CEO of Robin Hood, a nonprofit fighting poverty in the United States.

He is one of nine Democrats who have said they are running for the highest office in the state.

Steve Bohnel can be contacted at [email protected]

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