Candidate for Md. governor puts gender front and center

WASHINGTON — Krish Vignarajah is running for governor of Maryland and she’s setting herself apart from the crowded field of Democrats by doing something none of her male competitors can do: Breast feed.

In her just-released YouTube ad, Vignarajah is shown nursing her daughter, Alana. The former policy adviser to Michelle Obama makes her gender a centerpiece in the ad, stating, “they say no man can beat Larry Hogan. Well, I’m no man.” That’s a direct reference to the popularity of incumbent Republican Governor Larry Hogan, whose approval ratings remain high statewide.

Vignarajah is one of eight Democrats running for governor and the only woman. She’s also chosen a woman, Sharon Blake, as her running mate. Blake is a former Baltimore Teachers Union president and is African-American. The last time an all-female ticket appeared in Maryland’s gubernatorial race was 1994, but this marks the first time in Maryland’s history the ticket includes two women of color.

In her ad, Vignarajah states that no woman currently holds statewide elected office. U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski retired in 2016; and the woman who ran to fill that seat, U.S. Representative Donna Edwards, lost to Senator Chris Van Hollen. Vignarajah wraps up the ad by saying, “I’m a mom, I’m a woman and I want to be your next governor.”

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