Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Peter Franchot picks Prince George’s Council member as running mate

Peter Franchot, the Maryland comptroller who is among the field of Democratic candidates for governor, has named Prince George’s County Councilwoman Monique Anderson-Walker as his running mate.

The campaign quickly had to answer questions about Anderson-Walker’s legal and ethical issues.


Anderson-Walker, 50, was elected to the Prince George’s County Council in 2018 and has built a career in real estate, currently serving as principal of Fleur de Lis LLC, a commercial real estate brokerage and development firm.

Franchot said in an interview that Anderson-Walker is an impressive leader who could capably step into the role of governor if needed, the most important role that a lieutenant governor has.


“She has great judgement,” Franchot said. “She has great values. She has great empathy and compassion for her constituents.”

Court documents show Anderson-Walker and her husband, Del. Jay Walker, have faced numerous financial challenges over the years. They faced foreclosure in 2009 and have had multiple tax liens.

And Anderson-Walker was found in violation of ethics rules earlier this year by the Prince George’s County Board of Ethics for voting on sending county money to a nonprofit organization that she worked for and for employing a contract worker from her private business in her council office.

Anderson-Walker said the couple has largely resolved their legal issues. She paid off a state tax lien in her name and she and her husband are making payments on a joint federal tax lien.

“I appreciate that it’s concerning,” Anderson-Walker said when asked about the legal filings. “I have been through pandemics, I have been through the Great Recession. I have survived certainly some very interesting times and continue to be a business owner, which is not easy. I do want to say that I’m not unlike many Marylanders, it’s unfortunate that we’ve endured some financial struggles.”

Franchot said Anderson-Walker’s financial challenges are not concerning to him, and in fact will help her serve with empathy.

“We’re well aware of this situation and everything is in compliance,” Franchot said. “We’re comfortable because it represents in my view ... that Monique will be a compassionate and empathetic leader.”

The Prince George’s County Board of Ethics found that Anderson-Walker voted to recommend a total of more than $750,000 in county funding 2019 and 2020 for the White Rose Foundation while working as a broker for the foundation. Anderson-Walker also voted for a tax agreement involving a senior housing development that the White Rose Foundation was involved in financing.


Further, the Board of Ethics found that Anderson-Walker employed a council aide who also worked as a contract employee for her private firm, Fleur de Lis.

After a two-day hearing in June, the Board of Ethics ruled that Anderson-Walker was “not in compliance” with the county’s ethics code for voting on matters involving White Rose while she represented them and for employing a private employee in her council office.

“The actions and behavior of Councilmember Walker have caused an erosion of public trust in County Government,” board members wrote in a ruling dated Aug. 17.

The Franchot campaign issued a statement saying that Anderson-Walker disclosed her longtime relationship with the White Rose Foundation when she first ran for the council in 2018. She didn’t financially benefit from representing the foundation as a broker in one deal while she was on the council.

The campaign also said Anderson-Walker’s council aide no longer works for her brokerage firm and that Anderson-Walker “is in full compliance with all guidance from the Board of Ethics.”

Anderson-Walker is the first African-American woman elected to represent her district on the Prince George’s council, an area that includes neighborhoods such as Clinton, Oxon Hill and Camp Springs, according to her official biography.


She has worked on initiatives to improve transportation connectivity and promoted highway safety on the council. She also worked to establish a camp for students that uses drones to teach science and engineering technology.

Anderson-Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Emory University, a master’s in political science from Howard University and a master’s in real estate from the Johns Hopkins University.

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Franchot and Anderson-Walker on Wednesday become the third announced governor-lieutenant governor team among the roughly dozen candidates actively campaigning for the 2022 election.

Earlier this month, Democrat Rushern L. Baker III, a former Prince George’s County executive, named Montgomery County Councilwoman Nancy Navarro as his lieutenant governor running mate.

The Baker/Navarro and Franchot/Anderson-Walker teams feature candidates from the Washington, D.C. suburbs, which are thick with Democratic voters. Prince George’s has the most Democrats in the state, with more than 468,000 active Democratic voters, according to state data. Montgomery County has about 410,000 active Democratic voters.

Republican candidate Del. Dan Cox announced last month that Queen Anne’s County attorney Gordana Schifanelli was his running mate.


Candidates for governor must pick a lieutenant governor running mate when they file their papers to run. The deadline is Feb. 22.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, serving his second four-year term in office, is barred from running again due to term limits.

Baltimore Sun reporter Bryn Stole contributed to this article.