Rushern Baker
Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker speaks at the 2013 H.O.P.E. Inaugural Youth Ball at the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. Jan. 20, 2013. Getty Images/Jemal Countess

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III announced Wednesday that he will be running for the governor of Maryland. Baker is a two-term Democratic executive of Prince George's County who will run for nomination in the 2018 Maryland gubernatorial election.

Baker announced his candidacy via a campaign video, whose primary message was: "We can't wait for change. We've got to make it happen." With that, Baker reflected on the kind of qualities that are required to make a good governor. He talked about a governor who takes care of the people and tries to get results rather than engage in futile clashes.

“Our next Governor shouldn’t shy away from issues that have direct impacts on children, seniors, families and entire communities,” Baker stated. “People deserve a Governor who has the courage to make tough calls; who knows how to bring people together to do the right thing and knows how to move us from conflicts to outcomes. I look forward to earning the support of everyone in Maryland that believes Maryland should lead and that our elected leaders should represent all of us.”

Baker likened the situation of his own county to that of the state of Maryland, stating that it would give him an opportunity to bring about similar changes to his state as he has to his county.

“Being county executive gives me a good vantage point to look at Maryland as a whole, because we are urban, suburban and rural. When I look at what we had to do in Prince George’s, given the circumstances we were in, and I look at the state, it’s not dissimilar,” Baker said in an interview, the Washington Post reported.

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Baker was born in Georgia to a military family. He spent a large part of childhood on various military bases and overseas. He has a law degree from Howard University (1986) and a Bachelor’s degree in History from Howard University (1982).

Before he announced his candidacy, Baker was unsure about whether he wanted to run against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Due to his hesitance, he even refrained from raising money to fund his campaign dreams. His dilemma could also have risen from the fact that his wife, Christa Beverly, suffers from early-onset Alzheimer's and dementia, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Some of the key policies and projects that Baker supports are $15 statewide minimum wage, fair distribution of education aid, expanded Medicaid coverage, increase funding toward hospitals and clinics, curb teenage drug and alcohol overdoses and reviving the $3 billion Red Line light rail project in Baltimore.

Many experts have hailed Baker as the best option when it comes to Maryland’s governorship.

Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland said: "He's a highly credible candidate. He's got that established, electoral base in a critical area for Democrats in the state."

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Referencing to the fact that Baker had to fire a major chunk of the county staff immediately after he took office in 2010, following FBI’s arrest of Jack Johnson, his predecessor, Melissa Deckman, chairman of the political science department at Washington College stated that “Under Rushern Baker's watch, he really righted a wrong ship," and that she sees Baker as "a good guy, sort of re-establishing integrity" in the county, according to the Baltimore Sun report.

If elected, he would be walking on former President Barack Obama’s footsteps in the sense that he would be the first African-American governor of Maryland. However, Baker is going to have a stiff competition as Former NAACP leader Benjamin Jealous, Baltimore entrepreneur Alec Ross and Maryland Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. have announced their candidacy for the June’s Democratic primary.

Other people that have shown interest in running for the seat of governor are Maryland representative John Delaney, former state attorney general Doug Gansler, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore lawyer James Shea.