Maryland gubernatorial campaign preview
In “Free State Politics” episode 7, John Rydell talks to a longtime political observer who examines the growing field of contenders in the 2022 Maryland gubernatorial race. Todd Eberly, associate professor of political science and coordinator of public policy studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, says there are tiers in his list based on current or prior experience as public officials. He says the top Democratic contenders include Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler. Baker lost to Ben Jealous in the 2018 Democratic primary, and Gansler was defeated by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the 2014 Democratic primary. But Eberly says several other contenders should be considered formidable candidates as well. They include former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who also served as chair of the Democratic National Committee. “Folks like John King and Wes Moore have also done a really great job of raising money which will help get their name recognition higher,” said Eberly. Other Democratic contenders include Baltimore business owner Mike Rosenbaum and Ashwani Jain, 31, who worked in the Obama administration. Eberly says there also could be a spirited campaign in the Republican gubernatorial primary if former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele decides to enter the race. Steele, who served as lieutenant governor to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., has announced that he will decide whether to enter the race between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Gov. Hogan’s Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz recently announced she plans to run for Governor.
Rydell also talks to New York Times Congressional Reporter Luke Broadwater about the recent House Select Committee hearing on the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Broadwater was a political reporter at the Baltimore Sun for 10 years and won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the scandal which forced the resignation of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. Broadwater, who was inside the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection, describes the emotional testimony of four U.S. Capitol Police officers, who were attacked by the mob that day. Future hearings are scheduled this fall to learn more about those who invaded the Capitol and whether they were assisted beforehand by some members of Congress. Broadwater says, “I do think some members of Congress will be called on to testify. I know one line of inquiry will likely lead to the angry phone call between House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and President Trump as the riots unfolded.” McCarthy apparently said Trump did not respond quickly to calling off the attack. Broadwater adds, “We do know from one of the rally organizers that three congressmen helped plan the rally with him that preceded the attack. Two of them have denied that, the third has not answered any questions about it, and so those three congressmen may be on the list of people who are called to testify to see how much they coordinated with rally-goers and whether or not there was any coordination with people who ended up being arrested for their actions on January 6.”
In his segment titled “Moment of Clarity,” Rydell expresses concern about the recent spike in COVID cases in Maryland and across the country, which are prompting the reinstatement of mask mandates in public places. But Rydell adds that, despite that setback, those running for office in 2022 are already returning to in-person campaigning, which will be crucial to helping increase their name recognition among voters.