2017 | Politics

Madaleno Says He’ll Run for Governor

Montgomery County state senator enters what is likely to be a crowded field of Democratic challengers

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State Sen. Rich Madaleno

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Montgomery County State Sen. Richard Madaleno said Sunday he will run for governor, becoming the second official candidate in what’s expected to be a large field of Democrats trying to unseat popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

The Kensington resident told a crowd of Metro advocates at a Washington, D.C., rally that he has a vision focused on collaboration, according to The Washington Post.

“It is time for a change, which is exactly why I’m running for governor,” Madaleno, who represents Kensington, Chevy Chase and parts of North Bethesda in District 18, said at the event.

Madaleno has been a state senator since 2007 and serves as the vice chair of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. He became the first openly gay person elected to the General Assembly when he first won a seat in the House of Delegates in 2002.

He was a leading voice in the fight to pass the Civil Marriage Act, which became law in 2013 and legalized same-sex marriages in the state.

During the rally at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Madaleno said he supported prioritizing public transit in the D.C. region and put an emphasis on fixing Metro, according to the Post. The event was organized by community and faith groups in partnership with the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, which represents Metro workers, to rally for dedicated funding for the transit system.

Madaleno will face an uphill battle in the race, which is expected to draw Democratic candidates such as Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP executive director Benjamin Jealous, former state attorney general Doug Gansler and Rep. John Delaney, who represents District 6.

With his announcement Sunday, Madaleno becomes the second candidate to formally state he is planning to run, after former Hillary Clinton adviser and entrepreneur Alec Ross said in late April he will run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Delaney, Kamenetz, Baker, Jealous, Madaleno, Gansler, Ross and former Venable law firm chair James Shea were among the candidates who took part in a Western Maryland straw poll last month. Delaney received 66 votes, Kamenetz 41, Jealous 22, Shea 16, Gansler 13, Madaleno 12 and Baker 12. Ross received no votes.

Madaleno has also been handing out a business card that touts him as a “Democrat for Governor.” It also includes a tag-line, “Experience Matters: Proven Progressive Leadership for Maryland.”