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Baker Bows Out of Maryland Governor’s Race

June 10, 2022 by Dan McCue
Baker Bows Out of Maryland Governor’s Race
Rushern Baker

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Rushern Baker II, a former Prince George’s County executive, said Friday he is suspending his campaign for Maryland governor.

The decision, which he said in a series of tweets is “effective immediately,” makes him the first of the 10 Democrats running to succeed term-limited incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, to drop out of the race.

Baker, who positioned himself as the straight-talking, grassroots candidate who would limit his donations in order to qualify for state matching funds, appears to have underestimated the millions his opponents would raise to secure the open seat in the statehouse.

“Having considered the financial challenges facing our campaign in the coming weeks, my running mate Nancy Navarro and I have made the difficult, yet necessary, decision to suspend our campaign activities,” Baker said.

Yet the now former candidate expressed few regrets about his decision, noting that, “The issues to which we have spoken on — most notably, the existential crises of murder and lawlessness in the City of Baltimore, and the corrosive effect of corporate and dark money upon our political system — have soundly resonated with voters and our fellow candidates.”

He added, “despite being dramatically outspent by our competitors, we have consistently polled near the top of the Democratic primary field, a reflection of the efficient way we have managed our campaign, and a validation of the ideas we have presented to the people of our state.”

A Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll published on June 5 suggests the race for the Democratic nomination had three candidates firmly in double-digits.

They were Democratic Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot with the support of 20% of respondents surveyed; author and former non-profit CEO Wes Moore with 15%;, and former U.S. Labor Secretary and DNC chairman Tom Perez with 12% support.

A survey of likely Republican voters found that former state Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz led state Del. Dan Cox 26% to 21%, with Robin Ficker and Joe Werner, both of whom are attorneys, polling at 5% and 4% respectively.

In both cases, undecided voters dominated the polling with 31% of Democrats and 42% of Republicans describing themselves as undecided aheaded of the July 19 primary.

The surveys of 562 likely Democratic primary voters and 428 likely Republican primary voters were conducted by telephone and online May 27 through June 2 by OpinionWorks, an Annapolis-based polling firm.

The surveys had a margin of error of 4.1 points for Democrats and 4.7 points for Republicans.

Baker said although his campaign activities will be suspended, “the priorities upon which our campaign was based must continue to progress, and we will continue to be vocal supporters of those priorities that have resonated so clearly with Marylanders these past few months.”

He also said he and his running mate Navarro are “reserving the right to reactivate” their political campaign and in the coming weeks would have a more permanent decision to share.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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