The Washington Post

Mike Rosenbaum ends campaign for governor; Democratic field drops to 8

- BY OVETTA WIGGINS ovetta.wiggins@washpost.com

Baltimore-based business owner and tech entreprene­ur Mike Rosenbaum announced Tuesday that he is dropping out of the Maryland governor’s race after a six-month run, reducing the field of candidates for the Democratic nomination to eight.

Rosenbaum said he plans to return to the private sector.

“My campaign was launched around the vision that Maryland can and must do more to help Marylander­s achieve economic security and become a model for how to rebuild our systems to enable every person to have dignity,” Rosenbaum said in a statement released by the campaign. “I will continue to advocate for this vision, but at this time, I have concluded that a campaign for governor is not the most effective way forward in achieving the kind of change I believe is necessary for Maryland to thrive.”

Rosenbaum’s departure, which comes ahead of the campaign finance filings due in January, could spell a less expensive primary race. Analysts had predicted that the 2022 race could be the most costly in state history, part of which was based on Rosenbaum’s deep pockets and ability to self-finance.

But Rosenbaum, who has never run for public office, faced some challenges from the start, including a lack of name recognitio­n. And yet his decision will probably come as a surprise to many given that the field continues to remain wide open.

Rosenbaum, a Harvard-educated attorney, entreprene­ur and economist who worked for the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administra­tion, in May became one of the first candidates to jump in the governor’s race. He recently became one of the first to hit the airwaves, using ads on social media platforms and on Youtube TV and Hulu to introduce himself to voters.

In the 30-second ad, “Possible,” he said he was running for governor “because talented people across Maryland are systematic­ally locked out of opportunit­y because of their race, class or gender.” He talked about his businesses, where he says he helped build careers in “emerging industries,” and spotlighte­d his recently released jobs plan, which he predicted would create 250,000 jobs and “raise wages by thousands of dollars.”

The six-figure digital ad buy was expected to run through the end of the year.

The remaining eight candidates vying for the Democratic nomination are former U.S. education secretary John B. King Jr.; former U.S. labor secretary Tom Perez; state Comptrolle­r Peter Franchot; former state attorney general Douglas F. Gansler; author and former nonprofit chief executive Wes Moore; former Prince George’s County executive Rushern L. Baker III; former nonprofit executive Jon Baron; and former candidate for Montgomery County Council Ashwani Jain. There are three candidates running for the Republican nomination, including Kelly M. Schulz, the state’s commerce secretary; perennial candidate and former state lawmaker Robin Ficker; and Del. Daniel L. Cox, a conservati­ve lawmaker from Frederick County.

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