By James Wright, Special to the AFROjwright@afro.com

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III lost to former NAACP president Ben Jealous to secure the Democratic nomination to challenge Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in the November 6 general election.

Baker received 29 percent of the vote while Jealous had 39 percent. Baker was gracious in his concession to Jealous.

Rushern Baker III is the outgoing county executive for Prince George’s County. (Courtesy Photo)

“I congratulate Mr. Jealous on a hard fought campaign,” Baker said with 70 people at the College Park Marriott & Convention Center in College Park, Md., on June 26. “It is important that a Democrat win the governorship.”

Baker thanked his supporters and campaign staff as well as members of his family. He promised that he would work hard to make the transition for the next county executive smooth.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks won the Democratic nomination to replace Baker.

Baker is the second African American politician from Prince George’s County to seek the Democratic nomination for governor, with U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) as the first in 2014.

Hogan ran unopposed in his bid for a second term.

Baker served in the Maryland General Assembly as a member of the House of Delegates representing district 22B in Prince George’s County from 1994-2003. He was a candidate for Prince George’s County Executive in 2002 and 2006 but came up short.

Baker was elected to the county executive in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.

Baker had the support of many so-called establishment politicians during the primary campaign such as U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), U.S. House of Representatives Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Montgomery County Executive Isaiah Leggett (D). He has been credited for the economic revival of Prince George’s County with projects at the New Carrollton Metro Station and Westphalia along with additions such as MGM Grand that is near the National Harbor.

However, the ongoing troubles with the county’s school system have been blamed on Baker because of his decision to stand by the now departed CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell.