Meet the Democratic candidates for Maryland governor

Erin Cox
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Rushern Baker

Candidate: Rushern Baker, 59

Profession: lawyer

Lives in: Cheverly

Family: Married, three children

Running mate: Elizabeth Embry, 40, former chief of the attorney general’s criminal division.

Bio: Baker is a two-term Prince George’s County executive and former three-term state delegate who got his start as a community organizer. He grew up in a military family and served as a lawyer for the U.S. Army Reserves for 14 years.

Ben Jealous

Candidate: Ben Jealous, 45

Profession: Civil rights advocate, finance

Lives in: Baltimore

Family: Divorced, 2 children

Running mate: Susan W. Turnbull, 65, former chairwoman, Maryland Democratic Party.

Bio: Jealous was chosen as president of the Baltimore-based NAACP in 2008 at 35, making him the youngest person to lead the civil rights organization. In that role, he was a leader of the fight to abolish the death penalty in Maryland. He left the NAACP job in 2013 and later joined Kapor Capital, a venture investment firm.

Kevin Kamenetz

Candidate: Kevin Kamenetz, 60

Profession: lawyer

Lives in: Owings Mills

Family: Married, two children

Running mate: Valerie Ervin, 60, former Montgomery County councilwoman and school board member.

Bio: Kamenetz is a two-term Baltimore County executive who was previously Baltimore County councilman for 16 years. Early in his career he was an assistant state’s attorney, and had a private practice until he became county executive in 2010.

Richard S. Madaleno Jr.

Candidate: Richard S. Madaleno, Jr., 52

Profession: State Senator, budget analyst

Lives in: Kensington

Family: Married, two children

Running mate: Luwanda Jenkins, 56, a former aide to Gov. Martin O’Malley

Bio: Madaleno has served in the Maryland General Assembly for 15 years and is vice chairman of the Senate’s Budget and Taxation committee. He holds a master’s in public administration from Syracuse University and would be Maryland’s first openly gay governor if elected.

Alec Ross

Candidate: Alec Ross, 46

Positions: Former senior adviser for innovation, Department of State

Profession: Author, entrepreneur

Lives in: Baltimore

Family: Married, 3 children

Running mate: Julie Verratti, 38, co-owner, Denizens Brewing Co.

Bio: Ross is a former Baltimore teacher who went on to found a nonprofit Internet access company an work at the Department of State during the Obama administration. He is the author of The Industries of the Future, a New York Times bestseller.

Jim Shea

Candidate: Jim Shea, 65

Profession: Lawyer

Lives in: Owings Mills

Family: Married, four children

Running mate: Brandon Scott, 33, a member of the Baltimore City Council

Bio: A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia Law School, Shea became managing partner of Maryand’s largest law firm, Venable, in 1995 and chairman in 2006. Shea is the former chairman of the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents.

Krish Vignarajah

Candidate: Krish Vignarajah, 38

Profession: lawyer

Lives in: Gaithersburg

Family: Married, one child.

Running mate: Sharon Blake, 67, former president of the Baltimore Teachers Union, as her running mate in the race for Maryland governor.

Bio: Vignarajah is a former policy director for First Lady Michelle Obama and former state department adviser who joined the campaign trail when her daughter was three months old. She grew up in Baltimore County and came to the United States from Sri Lanki as an infant and refugee with her parents, who were both educators.

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