Christa Beverly Baker, wife of Md. gubernatorial candidate Rushern Baker, dies at 61

Christa Beverly Baker, the wife of former Prince George’s County executive and Maryland gubernatorial candidate Rushern L. Baker III, died Saturday after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Today I lost the love of my life, my best friend, and the source of all my strength. She was our rock – the absolutely best mother to my kids and wife to me. She spent her life fighting injustice, inequities and, for the last decade, illness with grace and grit,” Baker said in a tweet.

Baker said his late wife brought a “legacy of joy” to their family and community. The couple had three children.

They first met at Howard University, where they both studied law. She worked as a civil rights lawyer.

NBC Washington reported that she was 61.

Maryland state senator Paul Pinsky told WTOP that he has been friends with the Baker family for decades, and described her as “extremely dynamic and personable,” and “the life of the party.”

Pinsky, who also recently lost his wife, said he told Rushern Baker: “Don’t think about politics or the race. If you take two days or two weeks off, it’s not going to affect things” when it comes to the governor’s race.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan expressed his condolences via Twitter:

WTOP’s Kate Ryan and our NBC Washington news partners contributed to this report. 

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