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Tom Perez Launches Bid for Maryland Governor

June 23, 2021 by Brock Blasdell
Tom Perez

Tom Perez, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, announced Wednesday that he is running for governor of Maryland, seeking to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

Perez, who served as labor secretary for then-President Barack Obama and also led the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, made the announcement via a Youtube video.

In it, he makes much of lifelong ties to Maryland, describing how before he achieved his accomplishments in government, he worked his way through college doing a series of menial jobs, including working on the back of a garbage truck. 

The video also features his pledge to take on a number of key Democratic priorities, ranging from education reform to protecting and growing union jobs to tackling climate change.

“I want to build a Maryland where everyone has access to quality education and quality affordable healthcare,” Perez said. “Where zip code never determines destiny.”

“We did get a lot done, but there is so much more to do,” Perez says at another point, referring to his time working for Obama.

The former president also appears in the video, offering his endorsement of the new gubernatorial candidate.

“Tom Perez has been, I believe, one of the best secretaries of labor in our history,” Obama said. “If you look at his body of work, on behalf of working people, he has been extraordinary.”

Praising his time heading the Obama administration’s Civil Rights Division as “the honor of a lifetime,” Perez proposes a campaign emphasizing social and economic equity and civil rights justice for Maryland. 

“My parents came here as immigrants from the Dominican Republic. I never would have dreamed in a million years that the president of the United States would have given me the opportunity to make such a difference,” Perez said. 

Before he emerged on the national stage, Perez held positions in state and local government.

He was elected to the Montgomery County City Council in 2002, and served as Maryland’s labor secretary from 2007 to 2009. 

“My entire government life has been about making government work and helping people, and that’s exactly what I’ll do as your governor,” Perez said.

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