Political Notes: Multiple Developments in Dem Race for Governor, Del. Carey Retires and More
By Josh Kurtz, Maryland Matters---April 14, 2022
There have been several noteworthy developments in the Democratic primary for governor over the past day, including former Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman dropping out of the contest and endorsing one of her foes, while former U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. became the latest candidate to hit the airwaves — and another shoe dropped on author Wes Moore’s origin story.
The latter development could prove to be particularly pivotal.
In an unusual move, Moore last week released contents of an opposition research dossier that had been compiled about him that, among other things, called into question his claims about growing up in Baltimore. While doing so, he asked the state prosecutor’s office and the Maryland State Board of Elections to investigate the distribution of the dossier.
It appeared as if the Moore campaign was trying to get ahead of a story, and now that’s been confirmed: CNN released an investigation Wednesday night into some of Moore’s claims about where he grew up; it suggested his connections to Baltimore had at times been exaggerated, and that during high-profile interviews and public appearances he had stayed silent when others had asserted that he was Baltimore born and bred.
Moore’s best-selling autobiography, “The Other Wes Moore,” chronicled his life and education and the life of another man of roughly the same age, also named Wes Moore, who had grown up in Baltimore and wound up incarcerated. His origin story has been a major part of his professional, and now political persona since he became a public figure.
It’s too early to measure the political impact of the CNN story and potential fallout, but the investigation is likely to overshadow other developments in the primary for at least the short term — including Moore’s endorsement from another labor union Wednesday, Ironworkers Local #5, a chapter of the International Association of Ironworkers covering Maryland, Virginia, and part of West Virginia.
Neuman dropping out, backing Franchot
In other gubernatorial news, Neuman plans to withdraw from the race on Thursday morning and endorse Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) in the nine-candidate primary.
“I entered the gubernatorial race because I believe that every Marylander deserves access to opportunities to thrive, regardless of where their story starts,” Neuman said in a statement provided by the Franchot campaign. “I am proud to endorse Peter Franchot for governor, and Monique Anderson-Walker for lieutenant governor, because I know they share my commitment to delivering positive, lasting changes that improve the quality of life for all Marylanders. During my career as an entrepreneur and public servant, I developed a clear understanding of how leadership can turn ideas into outcomes. I know that Peter and Monique will bring the executive experience needed to lead Maryland into a more equitable and prosperous chapter.”
Neuman, who served as Anne Arundel County executive in 2013 and 2014, when she was a Republican, was a late entrant in the Democratic primary for governor but hoped to capitalize on her status as the only woman in the race and as a candidate with a compelling, from-the-bootstraps biography. She has been a tech entrepreneur and was economic development director in Howard County.
But her campaign never caught fire — in part because of her late start, and in part because she wasn’t well known among Democratic activists, donors and affiliated groups. And while she has largely endorsed Democratic candidates over the past few years, her previous Republican affiliation made her suspect in certain Democratic circles.
Franchot in a statement said he was looking forward to campaigning with Neuman by his side.