By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford are running to retain the Governor’s mansion, unopposed by their Republican Party. However, they will be challenged by Democratic opponents and others in the General Election in November. Several Democrats of color will grapple through the primary process to win the Democratic nomination June 26, and ultimately, vie for the opportunity to unseat Hogan and Rutherford.

Photos shown of are the African American candidates running for Gov. and Lt. Gov. in Maryland. Governor: Rushern Baker, Ben Jealous, James Hugh Jones, II; Lieutenant Governor: Sharon Blake, Valerie Ervin, Luwanda Jenkins, Brandon Scott, Charles S. Waters. (AFRO File and Courtesy Photos)


Rushern Baker

Baker was elected county executive of Prince George’s County, the wealthiest majority Black county in the nation in 2010, and re-elected in 2014. A native of Valdosta, Georgia, Baker obtained his Bachelor’s and law degrees from Howard University. He and his wife Christa settled in Prince George’s County in the 1980’s. Baker served in the Maryland House of Delegates representing legislative district 22B, from 1994 to 2003. He has chosen Elizabeth Embry, an attorney and former candidate for Baltimore mayor to be his running mate for Lt. Gov.

Ben Jealous

Jealous served as president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), from 2008 to 2013. At 35, he was the youngest person ever to lead the civil rights organization. A native of California, Jealous has roots in Baltimore (his mother Ann Todd Jealous grew up in Baltimore) and spent his summers in the Ashburton community with his maternal grandparents. As a student at Columbia University (he is a Rhodes Scholar and holds degrees from Columbia and St. Anthony’s College, Oxford), Jealous worked as an organizer for the NAACP’s legal defense fund and later with the group’s chapter in Mississippi on funding local Black colleges. While in Mississippi, Jealous worked as a reporter for the Jackson Advocate, the state’s oldest historically Black newspaper, and later became its managing editor. He is currently a partner at Kapor Capital.

James Hugh Jones, II

Jones is a resident of and business owner in Baltimore City. His Facebook page lists him as a producer at Mystique Media Digital Studios. In 2017, his Facebook page also indicated he was the Pastor of Grace in the Wilderness Ministries.

Lieutenant Governor

Sharon Blake

Blake is the running mate of Krishanti Vignarajah, to form the state’s first gubernatorial ticket made up of women of color. Blake, a Baltimore resident, is a former Baltimore Teachers Union president, who taught in Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) for decades at several different city schools. She retired from BCPS last year.

Valerie Ervin

Ervin, a former Montgomery County Council president, is the running mate of Kevin Kamenetz, the Baltimore County Executive. She was a 2016 Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives, but withdrew from the race in 2015. She served on the Montgomery County Council from 2006 to 2014 representing District Five. She was vice president of the Council from 2009 to 2010 and president from 2010 to 2011.

Luwanda Jenkins

Jenkins, a former aide to Gov. Martin O’Malley is the running mate of Sen. Richard Madaleno, Jr. She is a native of the Forest Park community of Northwest Baltimore and a graduate of Western High School. Jenkins obtained her undergraduate degree from Towson State University and a Master’s in business management from Johns Hopkins University. She has also worked for former Govs. Parris Glendening and William Donald Schaefer.

Brandon Scott

Scott, a member of the Baltimore City Council is the running mate of attorney Jim Shea. Scott, who represents the Second District in East Baltimore, is vice chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee and last year released a crime reduction plan, “Live to Be More.” Scott has also been a vocal critic of the Pugh and has been viewed as a probable opponent of Mayor Pugh in 2020.

Charles S. Waters

Waters, a Baltimore resident is the running mate of James Hugh Jones. According to his Facebook page, Waters studied at Faith Bible College and graduated from Archbishop Curley High School. He is the Pastor of the New Generation Ministries of Baltimore.

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor