Maryland could be the best opportunity for Democrats to flip a governorship anywhere in the country next year. But first, the party has to navigate a crowded, diverse and potentially expensive primary to find their nominee.
Five of nine Democrats who have declared as candidate to succeed term-limited GOP Gov. Larry Hogan are people of color, bolstering the state’s chances it could elect its first non-white man as governor.“
This is a potentially historic election,” former Education Secretary John King said in an interview with POLITICO. “There’s a huge opportunity for great representation and leadership in Maryland and nationally.”
Looming over the Democratic primary is a political environment likely benefiting Republicans — amplified by the GOP’s victory in neighboring Virginia last month. One of the Democratic hopefuls told POLITICO he thinks 2022 could be the most difficult election for his party in a half-century.
The roster of candidates includes King, who is Afro-Latino; former Prince George’s County executive Rushern Baker and author Wes Moore, who are both Black; former DNC chair Tom Perez, the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic; and former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain, who is Indian American.
Among the white candidates are longtime state Comptroller Peter Franchot and former state Attorney General Doug Gansler, as well as nonprofit executive Jon Baron; and Jerome Segal, who unsuccessfully tried to primary Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin in 2018.
The demographics of the state are a key factor: Maryland is among the most racially diverse states in the country, and white people make up only roughly 4-in-10 voters in the Democratic primary.
According to the Census Bureau’s Diversity Index — a formula that measures the probability that two people chosen randomly will be from different ethnic or racial groups — Maryland saw the largest gain of any state in the U.S. since 2010.
Read the full article at Politico.com.