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Candidates stump at the polls on Maryland’s primary election day

Tom Perez is a candidate running for governor in Maryland.
Joel McCord
Tom Perez is a candidate running for governor in Maryland.

When Maryland voters head to the polls on primary day, it’s a safe bet to say the candidates will be making their rounds as well, searching for a few more votes.

Tom Perez, who is locked in a tight race for the Democratic nomination for governor, hopped out of a car at Hazelwood Elementary School in Northeast Baltimore and was greeted by a woman who recognized him as “Obama’s man.”

Perez said his connection to former President Barack Obama, when he served as U.S. Secretary of Labor, has helped the campaign.

“People are voting for leaders who can solve problems,” he said. “Barack Obama solved a lot of people's problems. And that's why our first ad talked about through his words, you know, the work I had done. And I think that’s really important.”

Obama hasn’t formally endorsed anyone in the Maryland governor’s race, even though a campaign advertisement, cobbled together from several Obama comments, may sound like it.

“He is tireless,” Obama says, referring to Perez. “He is wicked smart. If you look at his body of work on behalf of working people, he has been extraordinary.”

Whether those compliments can help him win the nomination remains to be seen. A recent Goucher College Poll, conducted in partnership with WYPR and the Baltimore Banner, found the top three Democrats – Perez, State Comptroller Peter Franchot and author and entrepreneur Wes Moore in a statistical dead heat.

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