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Political Notes: Rural State Senate Contests, and a King and a President Visit Annapolis

2/18/2022 | Josh Kurtz, Elizabeth Shwe

Maryland Matters

King (in Annapolis) for a day

Former U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. (D) officially filed his paperwork to run for governor at the Maryland State Board of Elections early Thursday morning with his running mate, Michelle Siri.

“As a former high school civics teacher, it’s very fun to get to the point of actually formally filing,” King said in an interview. Noting that his ancestors were enslaved in Maryland, “there’s something really powerful about being able to be a part of this democracy in this way.”

“It felt momentous,” Siri echoed. “I mean it when I say I really think of this as a public service.”

A few hours later, King and Siri launched their “Promise to Progress Tour,” in which they plan to hold events across the state for the next month to talk with voters. As the state moves closer to the gubernatorial primary election on June 28., King said he wants to continue to send a clear message that his campaign is going to compete everywhere and that he wants to “be the governor for all Marylanders.”

But as King and Siri were about to speak at Lawyers Mall after filing, a rally of several dozen people shouting, “Unmask our kids!” and “Let us breathe!” popped up next to them as lawmakers walked out of the Maryland State House. The King and Siri campaign moved to the opposite side of the State House to announce their tour.

There, King described his progressive goals and listed the three core pillars of his campaign: education, economic development and diversity, and addressing climate change. He remarked on the stark contrast of having served in the cabinet of the first Black president after his great grandfather had been enslaved a century and a half earlier and 25 miles away from where King lives in Silver Spring.

“That’s what’s possible if we create an opportunity society,” he said.

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