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Baltimore’s Mike Rosenbaum quits Democratic race for governor in 2022

Maryland’s large field of Democratic candidates for governor got smaller, as Baltimore-based entrepreneur Mike Rosenbaum dropped out of the race.

Rosenbaum declined to comment through a spokesman. But he released a statement Tuesday saying: “I have concluded that a campaign for governor is not the most effective way forward in achieving the kind of change I believe is necessary for Maryland to thrive.”

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Rosenbaum, 50, had focused his campaign on furthering economic equity for Marylanders who have been left out of financial opportunities. He often spoke about how talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not.

That campaign theme built on the work that Rosenbaum did in the private sector, founding two companies based on upending how companies hire and train workers.

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His first company, Catalyte, developed ways to identify people who might be successful in technology jobs and trained them. His second company — called Pegged Software, now named Arena — uses data and analytics to reduce implicit bias in the hiring process, particularly for health care companies.

Rosenbaum ratcheted up his advertising campaign early, spending at least $100,000 on videos that played on streaming services. It’s unknown exactly how much he spent on his short campaign, as campaign finance reports aren’t due until January.

A native of Bethesda, he came to Baltimore in 1998 after working as an economist in the federal government. He holds degrees from Harvard University and the London School of Economics.

Rosenbaum, in his statement, said he felt he could continue to make a difference for economic equity in the private sector. “As an entrepreneur, I’ll continue to champion my belief that we should not shy away from what is possible simply because it is difficult,” he said.

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He pledged to support the Democratic nominee chosen in the June 28 primary.

The field of Democratic candidates includes former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, former nonprofit executive Jon Baron, state Comptroller Peter Franchot, former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, former U.S. Secretary of Education John King, former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain, author and former nonprofit executive Wes Moore and former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

Declared Republican candidates include Del. Dan Cox, anti-tax advocate Robin Ficker and state Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz. Also, Joe Werner of Baltimore County has filed to run as a Republican, and Michael Steele, a former lieutenant governor who is now a TV political analyst, has been weighing whether to run.

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