Luwanda Jenkins, a business executive and former O'Malley appointee, was selected as the running mate for Maryland gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery). ( Madaleno campaign / Madaleno campaign )

Maryland gubernatorial candidate and state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno (D-Montgomery) has tapped as his running mate Luwanda W. Jenkins, a Baltimore native who served in the administrations of the last three Democratic governors.

Jenkins directed the Office of Minority Affairs for three years during former governor Parris Glendening’s term and was special secretary of minority affairs for five years for then-Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). She played a similar role in the administration of then-Gov. Donald Schaefer (D).

Madaleno, who has served in the General Assembly for 16 years, said he and Jenkins offer voters in the June 26 Democratic primary a gubernatorial ticket that has an unparalleled amount of legislative and executive experience.

“She’s got everything it takes to step right into the role” as governor, said Madaleno, 52.

The pair have known each other for more than 20 years. Both were mentored by former delegate Howard P. “Pete” Rawlings Jr. of Baltimore.

Jenkins, 55, has more than 17 years of experience in state government and an equal number of years in the private sector, including executive positions at the Baltimore Sun and CareFirst BlueCross Plan and the Cordish Cos., a real estate development company. She serves as the chief operating officer for The LEADERship, a program of the Greater Baltimore Committee.


State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

She has never run for elected office.

Jenkins said she decided to join Madaleno’s ticket because she shares his commitment to providing economic and educational opportunities to all Marylanders, regardless of whether they live in the state’s suburban, rural or urban areas.

“Rich has a very strong track record as a public servant and senator . . . he’s a collaborator, brings people together; he gets things done and I share his idea of inclusion,” she said.

Jenkins has spent much of her career ensuring that women and minorities have equal access in both the corporate and government sectors. “Now is the time for more women in leadership roles . . . we need to be at the table,” she said.

She described herself as a wife, a mother and a daughter, caring for aging parents, “typical of so many women who play a pivotal role. And I believe women in the state will be able to relate to me.”

In November, Ben Jealous selected Susan W. Turnbull, a former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and former chair of the state Democratic Party, as his running mate.

Last week, attorney Jim Shea chose Baltimore City Council member Brandon Scott to join his gubernatorial ticket. Tech entrepreneur Alec Ross on Monday is announcing that Julie Verratti, a small-business owner in Montgomery County, is his running mate.

The other Democratic candidates, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and former Michelle Obama aide Krishanti Vignarajah, must officially submit papers with their running mates by the Feb. 27 filing deadline.

The winner of the Democratic primary will face Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford in November’s general election.