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Baker names Lt. Gov. running mate

Montgomery County Councilwoman Nancy Navarro and former Prince Georges Executive Rushern Baker
Campaign photo
Montgomery County Councilwoman Nancy Navarro and former Prince Georges Executive Rushern Baker

Rushern Baker, the two-term Prince George's County Executive and former state lawmaker, became the first in a crowded Democratic gubernatorial field to announce a running mate Wednesday. He chose Nancy Navarro, who is finishing her third term on the Montgomery County Council.

Baker said he’s known Navarro for almost 20 years and that he has “a lot of respect” for the work she’s done in that time, both on the county school board and the county council on immigrants’ issues, economic development and education.

Navarro, who is barred from running for re-election by Montgomery County’s term limits law, said she was wrestling with what to do after 2022 and thought about stepping away. But added when “this opportunity came knocking on my door, it just felt right.”

Baker, who is Black, and Navarro, whose family immigrated to the US from Venezuela, stressed Maryland’s diversity as they made their announcement at a Silver Spring bakery run by Salvadorans.

Navarro said the recent census showed Maryland is the most diverse state on the East Coast.

“And that just really, truly means that we have got to be committed to be in every corner of the state, listening to everybody, and ensuring that we are responding with the interventions and services,” she said. “Not just because we're ethnically and racially diverse, but because geographically, Maryland is very diverse.”

Baker, who ran an unsuccessful primary campaign for governor in 2018, said that race taught him what a diverse state Maryland is and that his and Navarro’s Washington Beltway counties have rural, urban and suburban diversity.

“And so I think that experience is what's going to make us different from the rest of the field that’s running,” he said.

Joel McCord is a trumpet player who learned early in life that that’s no way to make a living.