Democratic candidates for Maryland governor stake out positions at forum

Several candidates vying to be Maryland’s next governor made their pitches to voters at a Democratic candidates’ forum in Ocean City on Wednesday night.

“COVID has thrown this whole place apart,” said former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker. “We need somebody who on Day One can get in there and get the job done.”

Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said the stakes are high “and we need to have a Democratic nominee who can actually win the general election.”

“There are folks who say the Democratic candidates are all the same,” said former U.S. Education Secretary John King, as he touched on issues from education to health care to housing. “We are not.”

Baker said the state needs someone who will speak “hard truths to power.”

“We have to honestly talk about the slaughter of young Black men in Baltimore City and places like that,” he said.

Watch Wednesday’s forum below.

Gansler called for ending judicial elections, saying it’s “one of the first things we’re going to do.”

“Judges should not be raising money from lawyers and they should not be political,” he said. Gansler voiced support for having police officers in schools as well: “We need to have school resource officers in every school in Maryland to keep our kids safe.”

Former nonprofit executive Jon Baron and activist Jerome Segal took part in the Maryland State Bar Association forum as well, which was co-moderated by WTOP’s Dick Uliano.

Candidates not taking part included Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, former charity CEO Wes Moore and former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, because of scheduling conflicts or “COVID-related issues.” Moore tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.

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