Having just bought my ticket for my first viewing of Episode VIII of the Star Wars Saga, "The Last Jedi", I couldn't resist this post title!
As of this writing there are nine candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for Governor. In no particular order they are Ralph Jaffe, Krish Vignarajah, Alec Ross, Rich Madaleno, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Rushern Baker, Kevin Kamenetz, Ben Jealous, and Jim Shea. I have had the opportunity to speak personally with candidates Kamenetz, Madaleno, and Vignarajah and have been incredibly impressed by all. I heard Ms. Cummings speak at the Howard County Democratic Labor Day picnic and was blown away. But I also heard a candidate I had previously dismissed speak; I loved what I heard and wanted to learn more. So I'd like to take some time to write about Alec Ross, Democratic candidate for Governor.
One can learn more about Alec Ross's campaign by visiting his website here. For one, I am happy to see detailed position information available on this candidate's website, running the full gamut of issues facing our state. Additionally, I had the privilege to enjoy a conversation with the candidate and attend an event he held in Baltimore last week. Here are my key takeaways from that conversation and event:
- Alec Ross has a platform that is geared towards keeping Maryland current with innovative trends in the national economy. I have read his book on innovation and read his website; he has a clear idea on where to take Maryland and the starting point of this is to bring more Marylanders to opportunity.
- Alec Ross's top priority is education. He believes that every school in Maryland should be a place where each and every child should receive the best education possible.
- Alec Ross has a platform that speaks to Howard County and Central Maryland. Let's not forget that places like Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Howard Counties failed to hold for the Democratic Gubernatorial nominee in 2014. Despite claiming that Maryland is "open for business", Governor Hogan's actual accomplishment in terms of job growth in Maryland has been pathetic. My view is that this is largely because Maryland lacks a strategy to lure the technology industry to Maryland, and the state's current strategy to retain those companies and allow them to grow are sorely lacking. I do not see such a condition occurring under a Governor Ross, who has been a successful innovator in the private and public sectors.
- Last, but certainly not least, Alec Ross can win this Democratic primary. Yes, he has no history of holding elected office in Maryland. This is the reason why, at first, I had been dismissive of his candidacy. But he has managed Federal operations with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars per year (not unlike the size of say, Prince Georges County and/or Baltimore County) and has been judged and evaluated based on results, on moving programs forward-- not just being a caretaker, and not just standing on positions. And this type of success, I have found, is not possible by playing politics. I think that in Government House, we need someone who can make up for lost ground under the stagnant, disappointing Hogan Administration.
I find Alec Ross to be an honest, straight shooter with a clear plan as to where to take Maryland as we approach the end of the first quarter of the 21st Century. If you're looking for a state that dares to dream and achieve, then Alec Ross may very well be the candidate for Governor you're looking for.
Incidentally, there is a direct HoCo connection for Alec Ross-- he worked for three years for Enterprise Community Partners from 1997 to 2000.
Let's be careful out there.
#alecross #mdpolitics #mdgovernor #mddems #hocopolitics