The primary is just over a year away and already nearly a dozen candidates have announced they’re running to replace Larry Hogan as Maryland’s governor.
Hogan, a Republican whose victory in deep-blue Maryland came as a surprise in 2014, cannot run for reelection in 2022 because of term limits.
His win showed that Maryland could be a competitive state for the GOP, though Democrats outnumber Republicans by a two-to-one margin.
Most of the candidates who have announced they’re running in 2022 are Democrats. Peter Franchot, the state’s comptroller, jumped into the fray well ahead of other contenders when he confirmed his intention to run in early 2020.
His competitors for the Democratic nomination include a number of big names: Tom Perez, the former U.S. Labor Secretary and chair of the Democratic National Committee; Wes Moore, an author, former nonprofit executive and political newcomer; and former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. all have varying levels of national recognition.
The smaller field of Republicans includes Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz and state Delegate Dan Cox.
Cox, a passionate supporter of former President Donald Trump, has repeatedly sparked controversy. He helped organize buses to carry supporters to a Trump rally that later turned violent as a mob overtook the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. On the same day, Cox tweeted that then-Vice President Mike Pence was a “traitor.”
The deadline to file isn’t until February 2022, and the primary will take place June 28, 2022. Here’s the list of candidates who have said they plan to run:
Rushern L. Baker III served as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for nearly a decade before pursuing the job of Prince George’s County Executive. He won that post in 2010 and ran for governor in the 2018 election, but lost in the Democratic primary.
Jon Baron, a former nonprofit executive who has also worked in various federal roles, most recently headed a philanthropic organization called Arnold Ventures.
Peter Franchot served in the House of Delegates for 20 years before becoming comptroller in 2007. He has been re-elected to the post three times and serves on the powerful Board of Public Works.
Doug Gansler served two terms as Maryland’s Attorney General, beginning in 2007. He had previously been the Montgomery County State’s Attorney for nearly a decade. He ran for governor in 2014 but lost in the Democratic primary.
Ashwani Jain previously served in the Obama administration and ran an unsuccessful campaign for Montgomery County Council in 2018. A childhood cancer survivor, Jain worked as director of outreach for the administration’s Cancer Moonshot. Jain has highlighted his status as a millennial.
John King Jr. served as U.S. Secretary of Education under Obama. Before that, he was the Commissioner of Education in New York state. He formed a progressive advocacy organization in Maryland in 2020.
Wes Moore is a best-selling author who until recently headed the Robin Hood Foundation, a charitable organization that works to lift families out of poverty in New York City.
Tom Perez was the chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2017 through the beginning of this year. He also served as U.S. Secretary of Labor under then-President Barack Obama, and previously headed Maryland’s Department of Labor.
Mike Rosenbaum is a Baltimore-based entrepreneur who has built two companies that aim to improve hiring practices and distribute job opportunities more fairly.
Dan Cox announced Sunday that he would run for governor. He is a first-term delegate who represents Carroll and Frederick counties. He led an unsuccessful effort to limit the governor’s emergency powers during the pandemic.
Robin Ficker told Bethesda Magazine he was running for governor in April. He has run for political office many times in recent decades and served one term in the House of Delegates starting in 1979. Ficker is campaigning on a promise to cut Maryland sales tax by two cents.
Kelly Schulz is Maryland’s Secretary of Commerce. She served in the House of Delegates, where she represented parts of Frederick County, from 2011 to 2015 before joining Hogan’s administration.
She announced her campaign the same day that Hogan’s lieutenant governor, Boyd Rutherford, said he would not run for governor in 2022.
Madeleine O’Neill covers the Maryland State House and state issues for the USA TODAY Network. She can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @maddioneill.