Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) is backing Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz in Maryland’s crowded Democratic gubernatorial primary, where seven major candidates are vying to take on popular incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in November.
Recent polling shows Kamenetz trailing Rushern L. Baker III, the executive in Prince George’s County, and former NAACP president Ben Jealous in a head-to-head matchup with Hogan. He earned slightly more support than the other Democratic hopefuls: state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery), Baltimore attorney James Shea, entrepreneur Alec Ross and former Michelle Obama policy aide Krishanti Vignarajah. All, however, trailed Hogan by double digits.
Ruppersberger, an eight-term congressman who served as Baltimore County executive when Kamenetz was on the County Council, touted Kamenetz’s record of delivering quality government services without “raising tax rates.”
“I’ve seen his dedication and tireless work ethic firsthand,” Ruppersberger said.
Kamenetz, whose running mate is former Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin, has also been endorsed by local labor and ministerial unions.
Most big-name national support, however, has backed Jealous, who has endorsements from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and progressive groups.
Several of Maryland’s Democratic Party leaders have lined up behind Baker, including Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a longtime friend and ally, and Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh.
The primary is June 26.