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Former governor Parris Glendening backs Rushern Baker in Maryland governor race

Rushern L. Baker III (D). (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Former Maryland governor Parris N. Glendening on Thursday endorsed Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III in his bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, citing Baker’s record on the environment.

“He understands that economic development and protecting the environment go hand in hand,” Glendening said in an interview. Baker unveiled an environmental plan Thursday that includes a committee chaired by Glendening and aimed at making Maryland the first state in the country to achieve 100 percent clean energy and zero waste.

Prince George’s, where Baker created a county-level environmental department, leads the state in recycling.

Glendening, a former county executive in Prince George’s, said Baker, who is leading in polls of the crowded Democratic primary race that also indicate a large number of voters undecided, is an “honest and ethical” leader who has handled his two terms in office well.

Baker also has the backing of House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D).

The other candidates seeking the Democratic nomination are Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, former NAACP president Ben Jealous, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), tech entrepreneur Alec Ross, lawyer James Shea and Krishanti Vignarajah, a former policy aide to Michelle Obama.

The primary is June 26.