April 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Md. Democratic gubernatorial primary campaign kicks into high gear

Madaleno, gay news, Washington Blade

Maryland state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) is among the Democrats who are running to succeed Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November. (Washington Blade photo by Wyatt Reid Westlund)

The end of the 2018 legislative session in Maryland this week signals the campaign ahead of the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary has kicked into high gear.

State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County)’s campaign in a statement it released on Tuesday — hours after the session ended — described the Montgomery County Democrat as “a leader on many progressive issues.” These include the passage of a bill that would ban so-called conversion therapy for minors that he introduced in the Maryland Senate.

State Del. Bonnie Cullison (D-Montgomery County) introduced the measure — which Republican Gov. Larry Hogan supports — in the Maryland House of Delegates. It passed by a 95-27 vote margin on April 4.

“I am thrilled to report on the many things we have been able to accomplish this
year at the General Assembly,” said Madaleno in the press release. “This has been a very productive year, and it sends a strong message to Governor Hogan and all Marylanders: First, that the Democratic General Assembly can rise above the governor’s political gamesmanship; and second, that as governor, I will deliver results just like I did as a state senator all these years.”

Madaleno is among the Democrats who are hoping to succeed Hogan in November. He will face Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker; former NAACP President Benjamin Jealous; Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz; former State Department official Alec Ross; lawyer Jim Shea and Krishanti Vignarajah, who was former first lady Michelle Obama’s policy director.

A poll that Goucher University released on Feb. 22 indicates Baker and Kamenetz are the current frontrunners.

The latest campaign finance reports indicate Jealous, Baker, Kamenetz, Shea and Ross have all raised more than $1 million for their respective campaigns.

Madaleno has thus far raised just under $440,000, but he is accepting public financing. Hogan has raised more than $5 million for his re-election bid since January 2017.

Washington, Beyer running for state Senate

State Del. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) and Gender Rights Maryland Executive Director Dana Beyer are both running for the state Senate. Gabriel Acevero would become the first openly gay man of Afro-Latino descent elected to the General Assembly if he wins his race for the Maryland House of Delegates.

“The 2018 session made it more clear than ever how important it is that we continue to stand strong on important issues like preserving homeownership for Marylanders who fall behind on property taxes or water bills,” wrote Washington in an email she sent to her supporters on Tuesday. “I’m confident we can keep making change, because of the outpouring of support I’ve seen for this campaign over the last year. And I love this job as much as ever, because I love the people I serve.” 

Gabriel Acevero is running for the Maryland House of Delegates. He would be the first openly gay man of Afro-Latino descent elected to the state’s General Assembly if he were to win. (Photo courtesy of Gabriel Acevero)

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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