Bowie Mayor Tim Adams is forming an exploratory committee as he edges closer to running for Maryland comptroller in 2022.
Adams, 63, characterized the committee as part of the “planning process” for an eventual campaign that he might launch this spring.
If Adams gets into the race, he would face state Del. Brooke Lierman, and possibly others, in the Democratic primary. Lierman, from Baltimore, hosted a splashy, albeit digital, campaign launch last month.
In an interview, Adams noted some of the same themes that Lierman did in her launch, including that economic disparities in the state need to be rectified. He said Maryland’s tax structure is biased toward corporations and against small businesses and individuals.
“My reason for running is truly about financial accountability, economic justice and to really deliver a chance to the people, and have that change that we’ve been looking for,” he said.
Adams also sees room for improvement in the state procurement system, which he said favors companies with the best lobbyists and connections.
The comptroller serves as the state’s chief tax collector, and the office also has a hand in regulating businesses. The comptroller sits on the powerful, three-member Board of Public Works that has final say on state contracts and spending.
Adams said what separates him from Lierman and other potential candidates is that he is not “part of the Annapolis machine.” That’s a phrase used by the current comptroller, Democrat Peter Franchot, who has announced a run for governor in 2022.
Adams noted that if elected, he’d be the state’s first Black comptroller, as well as the first Black candidate independently elected to statewide office. Maryland has had three Black lieutenant governors who were elected on tickets with governors: Republican Michael Steele from 2003 to 2007, Democrat Anthony Brown from 2007 to 2015 and Republican incumbent Boyd Rutherford, who has served in office since 2015.
Adams also would be the first person with paraplegia in statewide office.
Adams was elected mayor of Bowie in 2019, his first political victory after losing a state Senate race in 2018. He is founder and CEO of Systems Applications & Technologies Inc., an engineering, technology and logistics company in Prince George’s County.