Maryland state Sen. C. Anthony Muse toured Prince George’s County on Monday, June 26 to inform residents he will seek the Democratic nomination for county executive in next year’s primary election.
Muse, 59, formally announced his candidacy before hundreds of supporters at the Harborside Hotel in Oxon Hill. Although Muse said his campaign already has more than 1,000 volunteers, he wants to triple that number.
“We are going to get this done,” he said to rousing applause.
Muse, who has spent two decades in the Maryland General Assembly and was elected to the state Senate in 2006, became the first person to officially make a bid for the seat, which will be vacated at the end of Rushern L. Baker III’s final term next year. Baker has joined a crowded field of Democrats to run for Maryland governor.
Muse could face a challenge from State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, as well as former Rep. Donna Edwards, who some community activists are pushing to run.
Muse said that if elected, he will govern “for the people” and not by party affiliation. For instance, he agrees with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan that the state Board of Education must conduct an investigation into allegations the Prince George’s school system allegedly boosted grades to increase the graduation rate.
Andrew Smarick, president of the state board of education, told WTTG-TV (Channel 5) after the vote in Baltimore that a specific timeline of the Prince George’s investigation hasn’t been determined.
“We just have allegations at this point,” he said. “We don’t have any evidence yet. We are taking it very seriously. We want to talk to as many people as necessary to get to the bottom of it as quickly as we can.”
Prince George’s Public Schools CEO Kevin Maxwell has said he welcomes the investigation, but denied the accusations levied against the school system.
Meanwhile, when the Maryland General Assembly reconvenes in January, Muse plans to introduce legislation that mandates the school board chair and vice chair be appointed by their colleagues instead of the county executive.
“We have to put education back into the hands of people and not one or two persons,” he said. “I don’t care what the problem is. We have to get this done.”
Muse, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Morgan State University in his native Baltimore, credits coming out of a household plagued by domestic violence and 11 foster homes to achieve success.
He received a master’s degree in divinity from the Wesley Theological Seminar and a doctorate in ministry at Howard University, both in Northwest.
Some supporters such as Vivian Powell of Fort Washington said part of his sincerity comes from being a pastor and founder of the Ark of Safety Christian Church in Upper Marlboro.
“I’ve followed Anthony Muse and have seen what he’s done,” said Powell, 57, a former Prince George’s school employee. “It’s one thing to be a politician and another thing to be a person. He’s a person with a heart.”
Besides restructuring the educational system in the county, some of Muse’s other plans are opening a cancer research center at Laurel Regional Hospital, revitalizing the Suitland community near the U.S. Census Bureau and expunging past convictions of returning citizens so they can obtain jobs.
Octavia S. Caldwell, CEO of ROC Consultants at National Harbor, said Muse will also help small businesses.
“He’s a young man that can make Prince George’s County better,” she said. “I know he will get it done.”