2021 | Politics

UPDATED: Navarro running for Maryland lieutenant governor on ticket with Baker

Democratic pairing adds another Montgomery County connection in primary race

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Former Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, left, and Montgomery County Council Member Nancy Navarro

Photo from Baker-Navarro campaign website

This story was updated at 10:45 a.m. Oct. 13, 2021, to include comments from Nancy Navarro and Rushern L. Baker III.

Montgomery County Council Member Nancy Navarro is running for lieutenant governor in 2022 on a gubernatorial ticket with former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III.

The campaign shared news of the pick on Tuesday, along with a campaign website that has both candidates.

Navarro’s spot on the ticket answers the question about her future political plans. She holds the District 4 seat on the County Council, but can’t run for re-election because of term limits.

Some term-limited council members have run for county executive. However, Navarro, who lives in the Colesville area of Silver Spring, appeared in July at a campaign event in support of Council President Tom Hucker when he announced that he is considering a run for county executive.

In a call with reporters on Wednesday, Navarro said she is joining Baker early on in the race, so that they could have time to travel around the state to talk to Marylanders.

“To me, what is the cornerstone and the essence of this ticket is the understanding that there are so many opportunities throughout the state,” Navarro said. “And although we are still facing challenges because of COVID-19, the COVID-19 recovery means that we have to understand and listen throughout the state, and that’s why I did this early.”

Baker said the experience he and Navarro have in local government is a strength they’ll use while traveling the state, and if they’re elected.

“We understand why it’s important that the governor and the lieutenant governor work with local municipalities,” Baker said. “Whether it’s in the city or in the county, we get it because we’ve been there.”

Navarro was elected to the County Council in 2009 in a special election. She was re-elected in 2010, 2014 and 2018. She is currently the only woman on the council.

Before joining the County Council, Navarro served five years on the Montgomery County Board of Education.

In 1998, Navarro, the first Latina member of the County Council, co-founded and was co-executive director of Centro Familia, a nonprofit organization to help immigrant women.

The Democratic field in the 2022 gubernatorial race is heavily dominated by candidates with Montgomery County connections, including Peter Franchot of Takoma Park, John King Jr. of Silver Spring, Thomas Perez of Takoma Park, Doug Gansler of Bethesda, Ashwani Jain of Potomac and Jon Baron of Bethesda.

Wes Moore and Mike Rosenbaum were born in Montgomery County.

Baker’s choice of Navarro as his running mate — creating the first Democratic ticket in the race — also gives him a foothold in Montgomery County, the state’s most populous county.

On the Republican side, Robin Ficker of Boyds is one of three candidates in the race, along with Kelly Schulz and Dan Cox of Frederick County and Joe Werner of Baltimore County.

Baker lost in the 2018 Democratic primary for governor, finishing second to Ben Jealous, who lost in the general election to Republican Larry Hogan.

Four Democrats have filed to run in 2022 for Navarro’s County Council seat — Natali Fani Gonzalez, Omar Lazo, Maricé Morales and Paul Schwartz.

Staff writer Steve Bohnel contributed to this story.