The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Former Montgomery County Council candidate enters race for Maryland governor

The Maryland State House.
The Maryland State House. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

A former candidate for Montgomery County Council is entering the Democratic primary race for Maryland governor, becoming the second candidate in what is expected to be a crowded field.

Ashwani Jain, who worked for the Obama administration, announced Wednesday night that he is vying to be the first person of color to hold the state’s top elected position — and potentially the nation’s first millennial governor.

Jain, who is 31 and the son of Indian immigrants, and has no prior experience in office, said he knows there will be many who will question his candidacy. But he said elected experience is not the only quality needed to serve. As Maryland becomes younger and more diverse, he said, “decisions about us should not be made without us.”

Comptroller Peter Franchot has already entered the race, and several other more experienced and well-heeled candidates are considering a run, including Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski.

Jain was one of 33 Democrats who competed for four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council in 2018. He finished eighth in the race.