Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland.
Yesterday, former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin entered the Democratic primary race for Maryland governor, following the sudden passing of Baltimore County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz, with whom she'd been running as a candidate forLieutenant Governor.
We begin the program with WYPR's Baltimore County politics reporter, John Lee, and his analysis of the changing dynamics of the governor's race.
Tom’s guest for the balance of the hour is Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, also a Democratic candidate for Maryland governor.
Rushern Baker is one of three candidates in the race who is not a political outsider, and now, the only one currently serving as a county executive. Baker entered politics in 1994, serving in the Maryland House of Delegates until 2003. He lost his first two elections for Prince George's county executive, but in 2010, he beat incumbent Jack Johnson. Soon after that election, federal prosecutors arrested Johnson on corruption charges. Mr. Baker has been widely credited with improving the county’s image and ending its “pay to play” legacy.
Of the nine Democrats whose names will appear on Maryland's gubernatorial ballot on primary election day, seven are considered serious contenders. Rushern Baker is widely thought to be one of the leading candidates in this crowded field, although none of the Democratic candidates have yet to poll better than incumbent Republican Governor Larry Hogan.
County Executive Baker is 59 years old. He has been married for 31 years to Christa Beverly, a civil rights lawyer, who was diagnosed eight years ago with early-onset dementia. Mr. Baker is her primary caregiver. They live in Cheverly, and they are the parents of three grown children, Rushern IV, Aja, and Quinci.
His running mate is Elizabeth Embry, a lawyer in the MD Attorney General’s office and a former candidate for Mayor of Baltimore.
County Executive Baker also took your questions, emails and tweets. Like all of Midday's Conversations with the Candidates, this program was streamed live on the WYPR FB page. Check out the video here.