Luwanda Jenkins with state Sen. Richard Madaleno Credit: Provided photo

State Sen. Richard Madaleno, a Kensington Democrat, has selected former Martin O’Malley administration official Luwanda Jenkins as his running mate in the governor’s race.

Jenkins previously served as the special secretary in the Office of Minority Affairs from 2007 to 2012 while O’Malley was governor. She’s a native of Baltimore and Madaleno announced his choice for lieutenant governor at Western High School, the all-girls public school she attended in the city.

“Luwanda shares my values and sensible vision for Maryland’s future and will strengthen my administration’s ability to achieve my goals, especially in the areas of economic development and expanding small business development for minorities and women,” Madaleno said in a statement.

Jenkins plans to focus on improving education in high-poverty communities, making college more affordable and reducing wealth inequalities—partly by helping grow women- and minority-owned small businesses.

“My entire career has been about leveraging opportunity to make a better quality of life for Marylanders,” Jenkins said in a statement. “I’m excited to travel across the state and share our ticket’s plan for action and engage Marylanders in how to make our state better.”

Jenkins has never held elected office.

Jenkins, 55, most recently served as chief operating officer of the Baltimore leadership development program LEADERship. Prior to that, she was vice president of community relations at The Cordish Cos., which developed Maryland Live! Casino at the Arundel Mills Mall.

Madaleno’s announcement comes as other competitors in the Democratic primary are completing their tickets before the Feb. 27 filing deadline. On Monday, Baltimore technology entrepreneur and former Hillary Clinton aide Alec Ross announced he chose Silver Spring brewery co-owner Julie Verratti as his running mate. Last week, Baltimore attorney James Shea selected Baltimore City Council member Brandan Scott to run with him. Former NAACP President Ben Jealous chose former Maryland Democratic Party Chair Susan Turnbull of Bethesda as his lieutenant governor running mate in November.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, who has been leading in recent polls, as well as Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz have yet to announce who their running mates will be. Former Michelle Obama aide Krishanti Vignarajah has also not yet announced a running mate.

The Democratic primary is June 26.