Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) said Wednesday that she will not run for governor in 2022 and will instead seek another term running Maryland’s second-largest county.
Alsobrooks raised the most money last year of any likely gubernatorial contender and said many Democrats in the state had urged her to run. But she said she wants to be there for her daughter in her final years of high school and help Prince George’s recover from the coronavirus pandemic, which hit harder in the county than elsewhere in the state.
“I want every space I occupy to be one that makes an impact,” Alsobrooks said. “I want to leave a trail of accomplishments.”
Alsobrooks said one of her biggest goals in the rest of her term, and in her second term if she wins reelection, will be addressing the variety of inequities laid bare by the pandemic, including in health care and the economy.
She said she wants to boost the medical infrastructure in the county of nearly 1 million, invest in development projects that will benefit residents, oversee construction of schools through a new public-private partnership and help reform the police department — whose new chief she selected amid a surge in homicides and a lawsuit alleging racism on the force.
Alsobrooks, who served eight years as Prince George’s state’s attorney before becoming county executive, is broadly popular in the county, though her critics say she has not done enough to address long-standing injustices and disparities.
She is considered a rising star in Democratic state politics and was seen as a strong contender to become the first Black or female governor of Maryland.
Alsobrooks said the decision to stay out of the race was not an easy one and added that she “knows there will be opportunities to serve on a higher level” in the future.
She said she has not yet decided who she will support in the Democratic primary race but knows she wants someone in the governor’s mansion who will have the best interests of Prince Georgians in mind.
The other Democrats vying to replace Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who is term-limited, include former Maryland attorney general Douglas F. Gansler, Comptroller Peter Franchot, former U.S. education secretary John B. King, former Montgomery County Council candidate Ashwani Jain, and Baltimore-based business owner and economist Mike Rosenbaum.
Author and nonprofit leader Wes Moore and former Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez are also considering primary bids, as are two longtime Prince George’s politicians: Rushern L. Baker III, who was Alsobrooks’s predecessor as county executive, and Rep. Anthony G. Brown (Md.), a former two-term lieutenant governor.
Hogan’s commerce secretary, Kelly M. Schulz, is seeking the Republican nomination, as is Robin Ficker, a former state delegate and anti-tax advocate from Montgomery County.
The only candidate who has so far filed paperwork in the Prince George’s county executive’s race is Tonya Sweat, an advocate from Accokeek who says she is running partly because she has been disappointed by Alsobrooks’s handling of the school system.