Maryland‌ ‌gubernatorial‌ ‌race‌ ‌fields‌ ‌13‌ ‌candidates‌


Photo used with permission from Google Commons

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore sits on a panel at the 2020 Social Innovation Summit.

In the 2022 Maryland gubernatorial election, a new governor will be voted to lead the state as longtime governor Larry Hogan will leave office because of the two-term limit. With the deadline for candidates to fill out finance reports being Jan. 20, the field is almost set and the candidates are getting ready for the June primary elections.

AP NSL teacher Matthew Winter said, “National politics gets way more press and that’s especially true for those of us living in the DMV. Ultimately though, state and local government directly affects our daily lives a lot more. The pandemic has shown this. That’s why voting in 2022 for governor and other offices is so important.”

 The Democratic primary has 10 candidates who have announced that they will be running for the governor position. The Republican primary has a smaller pool of candidates with only three who have announced. Of the 13 total candidates, only two are women and 11 are men.

Both parties have diverse candidate backgrounds that range from former company executives, United States Cabinet officials, attorneys and local county council leadership positions. Here is a profile of the most popular candidates this year.

One of the Democratic candidates who has experience in the county level government is 2018 Democratic primary runner-up, Rushern Baker. Baker spent eight years as the Prince George’s County Executive, where he helped elevate the county to one of the best economies in Maryland, taught classes at Bowie State and fought hard for equal opportunity for all.

            Another popular candidate is Wes Moore, a best-selling author, non-profit CEO and former Army Captain who was born in Takoma Park and raised in the Bronx and Baltimore. Moore went to Johns Hopkins University, interned for former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke and then went to Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship. Moore raised $4.8 million for his campaign, which is the most any candidate has raised this year. Moore will try to use this money to his advantage as he tries to become the first African American Maryland governor.

Another Democratic candidate who has yet to hold an elected office at the state level is Ashwani Jain. Jain would be the youngest governor in the country if elected at just 32 years old when inaugurated. Jain is a cancer survivor, former Obama administration staffer and former community organizer in Montgomery County. He was also the only gubernatorial candidate to be endorsed by Joe Biden in the 2018 Maryland race.

Senior Miles Wiley said, “I always make sure I vote, especially in statewide elections because voting is like not getting enough sleep, you only regret it afterwards.”

The Republicans have three candidates this year as they try to reclaim Larry Hogan’s spot. The first candidate to profile is Robin Ficker. Ficker’s main policy is cutting the state sales tax from 6% down to 2% to help citizens recover from the Coronavirus pandemic. Ficker is a Montgomery County native who has petitioned for and successfully passed multiple bills to the city council in the past 40 years. Another idea that Ficker would push for as governor is for Baltimore to get an NBA team again. Ficker is the oldest Republican candidate at 77 years old.

The next Republican candidate is former State Delegate Dan Cox. Cox represented one of the largest districts in the state with constituents in Frederick and Carroll counties. Cox is the only candidate to be publicly endorsed by former president Donald Trump. Two of Cox’s most passionate opinions are on defending the Second Amendment and removing the mask mandate in Maryland.

The only female candidate running in the Republican primary is Kelly Schulz. Schulz would be the first ever female governor in Maryland and she is currently the state secretary of commerce. Schulz’s experience includes opening up a cybersecurity firm, being elected to the Maryland House of Delegates and being appointed secretary of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Schulz is passionate about fighting for tax cuts and helping the education system.