It’s Official: Rushern Baker to Run for Maryland Governor

Prince George's County Exec Joins Growing Field of Candidates

At the first stop on the campaign trail on the road to Governor of Maryland, Rushern Baker speaks to publishers attending the National Newspaper Publishers Association 2017 annual convention held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland on June 21. (Photo by Shevry Lassiter - The Washington Informer)
At the first stop on the campaign trail on the road to Governor of Maryland, Rushern Baker speaks to publishers attending the National Newspaper Publishers Association 2017 annual convention held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland on June 21. (Photo by Shevry Lassiter - The Washington Informer)

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, 58, has been traversing the state of Maryland over the past year, speaking with citizens from cities large and small — listening as they express their concerns, needs, hopes and dreams.

And early Wednesday morning, June 21, he sent a video announcement to his friends, supporters and the media outlining the reasons why he’s convinced that despite a crowded field of Democrats, he believes that when the dust clears about a year from now, he’ll stand as the best candidate to take on Maryland’s current, and highly popular, governor — Republican Larry Hogan.

Baker’s first two stops on the campaign trail included Baltimore City and, closer to home, National Harbor where he addressed members of the Black Press during the National Newspaper Publishers Association’s [NNPA] 2017 Annual Convention which opened June 20 and continues through June 24.

“I believe the sum of my life’s experiences put me in a very good position to lead the state of Maryland forward,” he said in his first interview with the Black Press.

“Prince George’s County closely resembles the state in that it’s comprised of communities that are large, rural, urban and suburban. Serving as the governor would require me to advocate on behalf of Maryland’s diverse citizenry in ways quite similar to how I’ve worked so hard for our county’s residents for the past 7 ½ years,” said Baker, who earned both his undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor from Howard University, later serving in the Maryland House of Delegates before achieving victory to become county executive in 2010 following two earlier, unsuccessful attempts.

During his two terms as the county’s leader, he’s made it his business to restore confidence in the state’s second-largest jurisdiction once shackled by multiple stains of corruption.

He applauds Maryland’s public education system but believes “it could be even better,” perhaps recalling his own struggles as a youth with reading which he says he successfully overcame because of the support of his family and the dedication of a cadre of caring teachers.

As for the Affordable Care Act [ACA] and ongoing efforts by Republicans to dismantle it, he said, “We have to keep healthcare in the minds of every citizen. Under President Obama’s plan, we cut the number of uninsured citizens by 50,000. That’s significant. At the same time, we cannot simply stand by and allow partisan beliefs and initiatives to hurt the people of Maryland.”

“There are often times when the governor must be willing to face political risks in order to protect the rights of the citizens and to strengthen the state in which he or she has been elected to serve,” Baker said. “That’s a risk I’m willing to take.”

Baker places the improvement of the state’s roads, shoring up services offered by the transit system and protecting the environment at the top of his list of campaign concerns.

He believes his years of service in the state legislature will bode him well as he seeks to assert himself in an unusually large field of candidates, representing both the Democratic Party’s progressive and establishment voices, and which so far includes: former NAACP leader Ben Jealous, Baltimore businessman Alec Ross and state Senator Richard S. Madaleno, Jr. That field could grow even larger if Rep. John Delaney, Baltimore attorney James L. Shea and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz decide to throw their hats into the ring.

Still, Baker looks forward to the challenge ahead.

“I believe you’ll see a lot of elected officials endorse my candidacy as we march toward the 2018 election,” he said. “One secures endorsements when people are satisfied that a candidate has done what they said they would do. That describes the work I’ve accomplished since becoming the Prince George’s County Executive.”

Baker asserts his decision to enter the governor’s race came after completing his assessment of the man that he knew he’d have to unseat, Governor Hogan, and concluding that he stands the best chance among his fellow candidates to emerge victorious.

“Hogan is quite popular among Maryland citizens but the similarities between him and the other candidates are fairly obvious,” Baker said. “With me in the race, you certainly would not have a generic matchup.

“What’s really important for voters to consider is the current tenor on the national scene with Donald Trump in the White House,” he said. “People can no longer put their trust in the federal government to ensure their rights. Local government will be the only sure way that citizens can see their needs met. Whether we’re talking about health care, transportation or education, it’s the governor, not the president, who will make a difference for Marylanders in the coming years.”

For more information about Baker’s campaign, visit www.rushernbaker.com.

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About D. Kevin McNeir – Washington Informer Editor 165 Articles

Award-winning journalist, book editor, voice-over specialist and author with 17 years in the industry. Currently an education and religion beat reporter for The Washington Informer. But I also tackle local (D.C. and Maryland) politics, entertainment, business and health articles to maintain my edge.

Born and raised in Motown and a staunch Wolverine – that is a graduate of the University of Michigan, I left corporate America (IBM) to pursue my passion for writing, accepting a beat reporter’s gig under the tutelage of the late Sam Logan, founding publisher of the Michigan Chronicle. I continued to hone my craft at N’DIGO Magapaper, Windy City Times and The Wednesday Journal, all in Chicagoland; the Atlanta Voice and The Miami Times. I’ve been fortunate to be chosen twice as the Feature Writer of the Year by the Chicago Association of Black Journalists. Later, as the senior editor of one of the country’s oldest Black-owned newspapers, The Miami Times, I helped my staff bring home the NNPA’s highest honor – Publication of the Year, 2001. That same year I picked up first and second place awards for news and feature writing, respectively, also from the NNPA.

Today I’m based in the nation’s capital where I’m honored to serve as the editor for The Washington Informer. Recognizing the importance of education, I’ve earned two master’s degrees from Emory University, Summa Cum Laude and Princeton Theological Seminary, majoring in theology and philosophy.

If I can slow down, I may actually complete and publish a collection of essays I’ve been working on for many years, “Growing up Motown,” sharing childhood memories of experiences with musical legends like Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, the Four Tops, the Miracles, Gladys Knight and Take Six. My favorite foods: spinach, lasagna, pancakes and Oysters Rockefeller. My mom, 86, always my “best friend” and “cheerleader,” now lives with me and she brings me great joy. I’m a fiercely protective yet encouraging father and grandfather always down for traveling, shopping or celebrating the natural beauty of God’s world. I live by the following words: “Less is more” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

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