A new player entered the fight in favor of expanded gambling as Wayne K. Curry, a former Prince George’s County executive, registered a pro-Question 7 ballot committee Thursday.
Curry’s committee, Maryland First NOW - Vote Yes On 7, Inc., is separate from the ballot committee financed largely by MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment.
MGM is the prospective operator of a casino that could be built at National Harbor in Prince George’s if Question 7 is approved by voters. Curry was the transition team chief for current Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, one of the leading supporters of a National Harbor casino.
Messages sent to Curry’s email addresses Friday have not yet been returned. A spokeswoman for the MGM-backed committee said she had not heard of the new entry into the high-stakes campaign, which has become the most expensive political contest in Maryland history.
MGM’s committee has raised $21.6 million, while a rival group backed by Penn National Gaming has put up $25 million. While the two committees had not filed their reports before the close of business, they have been required to regularly report spending under a provision of the law that put Question 7 on the ballot.
While Curry has not held office since 2002, he remains a force in Prince George's political and business circles. When he was elected in 1994, he became the first African-American county executive in Maryland.