Everything you need to know about the gubernatorial race

Posted: 8:33 AM, May 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-12 12:15:54-05

Elections are approaching and there is a lot going on in the gubernatorial race this year. There are nine candidates facing off for the Democratic nomination and the chance to run against incumbent Larry Hogan. 

Primary Election:

The Primary Election will be on June 26 from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. People will be voting to choose which Democratic candidate will face off with the Republican candidate, current Governor Larry Hogan, during the General Election.

If you want to be a part of Early Voting, that will take place from Thursday, June 14, through Thursday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

General Election: 

The General Election will include the Democratic winner from the Primary Election versus the current Governor, Larry Hogan. Voting will be on November 6, from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

If you want to vote before then, you can participate in Early Voting from Thursday, October 25, through Thursday, November 1, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Precincts and Polling Places:

Click here for a full list of where you can vote.

Changes to your ballot: 

If you are a registered Democrat and are voting in the Primary Elections, there are some changes to the ballot you need to be aware of following the death of one of the candidates. 

The following candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor will appear on the Democratic ballot: 

  • Rushern L. Baker, III and Elizabeth Embry
  • Ralph Jaffe and Freda Jaffe
  • Ben Jealous and Susan Turnbull
  • James Hughes Jones, II and Charles S. Waters
  • Kevin Kamenetz and Valerie Ervin
  • Rich Madaleno and Luwanda Jenkins
  • Alec Ross and Julie C. Verratti
  • Jim Shea and Brandon M. Scott
  • Krish O’Mara Vignarajah and Sharon Y. Blake

On May 10, Kevin Kamenetz died of a heart attack. The former candidacy of Kevin Kamenetz and Valerie Erin was changed to Valerie Ervin and Marisol Johnson after she took over his campaign.

Ervin filed a lawsuit against the State Board of Elections to have the ballots changed, but they denied her request. Judge William Mulford told Ervin there just wasn’t enough time to reprint the approximately 3.7 million ballots it’d take to show the changes in the race. The State Board of Elections also deemed it impossible to create stickers to distribute to every voting location in the state – and make sure the ballots are properly tested before early voting in the primary election.

Now, less than a month after entering the race, Valerie Ervin has dropped out. Valerie Ervin and running mate Marisol Johnson are expected to make an official announcement on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Takoma Langley Transit Center, located at the intersection of 193 and East West Highway.


Larry Hogan

Age: 59

Job: Governor of Maryland

Family: Larry Hogan is married to Yumi Hogan, a first-generation Korean-American, and they have three daughters, Julie, Jaymi and Kim, as well as two grandchildren, Daniella and Cam.

Running mate: Boyd Rutherford is currently the Lieutenant Governor and is the chair of the Heroin Opioid Emergency Task Force that Hogan created. Before taking office, he was an Associate Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration and the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Bio: Before becoming governor in 2015, Hogan had never held a position in office. He was a small businessman who was frustrated and wanted to make a change. Hogan has been governor though the Baltimore riots, and he says he has reformed nearly 850 regulations, reduced or eliminated over 250 fees across state government, and delivered the largest tax refund in Maryland history during his term. 



Rushern Baker

Age: 59

Job: County Executive of Prince George's County

Family: Rushern has a wife named Christa and three kids.

Running mate: Elizabeth Embry has been the Deputy State's Attorney, a former Baltimore prosecutor, and most recently has served as the Chief of the Criminal Division at the Maryland Attorney General's office. 

Bio: Rushern Baker was born in Georgia and grew up in Massachusetts. He was raised in a military family and was the first in his family to graduate college. After getting his bachelors and Juris Doctor from Howard University, he worked as a community organizer in DC and led multiple non-profits. From 1994 to 2003 he represented legislative district 22B in the Maryland House of Delegates and then in 2010, he became the County Executive for Prince George's County. 


Click here to see an outline of his issues he will focus on as Governor

Ralph Jaffe

Age: 76

Job: Teacher

Family: Single

Running mate: Freda Jaffe, Ralph's sister. Information on candidate not available. 

Bio: Ralph Jaffe is running on the campaign that he is a teacher and not a politician. He says he uses his political campaigns as a teaching tool for his students and his mission is to stop corruption in the Maryland political system and replace it with true, ethical reform. He says that if he was Governor, he would not take any pay, he would only work one term, he would tell the truth all the time, and he would stay away from professional lobbyists. 




Click here to see an outline of his issues he will focus on as Governor

Ben Jealous

Age: 45

Job: Investor for Kapor Captial

Family: Was married to Lia Epperson in 2002 and then was divorced in 2014. 

Running mate: Susie W. Turnbull has worked in a variety of governmental, non-profit, business and political positions. Her background includes Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party, Senior Advisor and Grant Consultant to several members of Congress, owner of an interior space planning company, and service on various charitable boards.

Bio: Ben Jealous was born in Pacific Grove, California but has ties to Baltimore. His parents met in Baltimore, but because they were an interracial couple they had to get married in DC. Jealous formerly worked as a non-profit executive, President of the Rosenberg Foundation, Founding Director of Amnesty International's U.S. Domestic Human Rights Program, President and Chief Executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and was an investigative journalist in Mississippi. 

Click here to see an outline of his issues he will focus on as Governor.

James Hugh Jones II

Age: Information not available

Job: Producer at Mystique Media Digital Studios

Family: Information not available

Running mate: Charles S. Waters. Information on candidate not available. 

Bio: James High Jones II says he wants to be a Governor people can see and touch, regardless of race, collar, or ethnic background. He wants to be a clear voice for the people in Maryland, and doesn't want things to be business as usual. He says he plans on giving the power back to the people of Maryland to choose how they live, where they live, and what happens to their children. 





Click here to see an outline of his issues he will focus on as Governor

Richard S. Madaleno Jr. 

Age: 52

Job: Maryland State Senator representing the 18th district in Montgomery County

Family: Rich and his husband Mark have two children, Jackson and Katie.

Running mate: Luwanda W. Jenkins is a native Baltimorean and is especially interested in the topic of women and leadership. She went to Towson University and then headed to Johns Hopkins University for her master's degree. She has worked in community relations, supplier diversity, and a public-sector minority business enterprise program development. 

Bio: Rich Madaleno is the first openly gay person to be elected to the Maryland House and Senate and he says he has been involved in every LGBT policy victory in Maryland for the last 20 years. He grew up in Silver Spring and got his master's degree from Syracuse University. From 2008-2011, he was chair of the Montgomery County Senate Delegation and he served four years in the House of Delegates. 

Click here to see an outline of his issues he will focus on as Governor

Alec Ross

Age: 46

Job: American technology policy expert

Family: Alex Ross lives in Baltimore City with his wife, Felicity, and their three children.

Running mate: Julie Veratti is a Co-Founder and the Director of Business Development at Denizens Brewing Company with her wife and brother-in-law. Before she was a business owner, she was a Presidential Management Fellow and Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration, council member for the Montgomery County Food County, former member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce and is a former board member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. Recently, she was elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Brewers Association. 

Bio: Alec Ross grew up in coal country and worked his way through college. After college, he moved to Baltimore to teach in the city's public schools. He was a teacher at Booker T. Washington Middle School and then started his own non-profit to help give high-speed internet to low-income communities. He then became the Senior Advisor for Innovation to Hillary Clinton while she was the Secretary of State. After leaving the Department of State in 2013, he became a senior fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and wrote the New York Times bestseller The Industries of the Future. 

Click here to see an outline of his issues he will focus on as Governor

Jim Shea

Age: 65

Job: Chairman of Venable law firm

Family: He has been married to his wife, Barbara, for 40 years and has four children and two grandchildren. 

Running mate: Brandon Scott is one of the youngest people ever elected to Baltimore City Council in 2011 and was re-elected in 2016. 

Bio: Jim Shea was born in Baltimore and attended Baltimore County Public Schools before heading to Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He has led multiple public and provate organization across the state, including the University System of Maryland, the Empower Baltimore Management Corporation, and the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance. He then became the Managing Partner and later Chairman of Venable law firm. Venable is the largest law firm in Maryland and one of the largest firms in the world. 

Click here to see an outline of his issues he will focus on as Governor

Krish Vignarajah 

Age: 38

Job: Former Policy Director for Michelle Obama

Family: Krish and her husband, Collin O'Mara, got married on the Eastern shore and this past June they welcomed a new baby girl, Alana. 

Running mate: Sharon Blake has spent four decades in the classroom. She started at Greenspring Middle School and went on to teach at Northwestern High School, Frederick Douglass High School, the Institute of Business & Entrepreneurship at Walbrook High School, Renaissance Academy High School, The Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy, among others.

Bio: Krish was 9-months-old when her family escaped from a country on the brink of war and built a life in Maryland. Krish first worked with McKinsey & Company as a consultant for Fortune 100 companies, practiced law at Jenner & Block in Washington, DC, clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and taught at Georgetown University as an adjunct. Then she joined the White House where she was Policy Director for Michelle Obama and was the Senior Advisor at the State Department under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Click here to see an outline of the issues she will focus on as Governor


Age: 61

Job: Senior Advisor for the Working Families Party

Family: Valerie lives in Silver Spring where she has raised her two children, Solomon and Jonathan.

Running mate: Marisol Johnson is the first Latino to hold public office in Baltimore County. In 2013, she was appointed to the Baltimore County School Board and served for four years, the last two as vice chair. She resigned to prepare to run for County Council but withdrew from that race in February. Johnson also owns and operates an insurance company in Baltimore County. 

Bio: Valerie Ervin was originally running for Lt. Governor before her running mate, Kevin Kamenetz, died of a heart attack. She was the first African American to be on the Montgomery County Council, was on the Montgomery County School Board, was an active PTSA member, and founding member of the Montgomery County Education Forum and Blacks United for Excellence in Education. Currently, she is with the Working Families Party to help expand economic and educational opportunities for families across the country. 

Click here to see an outline of the issues she would have focused on as Governor


The nine candidates vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination continued to struggle to separate themselves as they engaged in debate at WMAR’s York Road studio, the fourth forum in the 2018 primary race, held Wednesday, June 6.

Below are all 11 questions our panelists asked the candidates as well as their responses. For more videos on the debate click here.

What will you do to address safety issues in our schools?


What are your plans to fix problems with transportation?


What is your strategy to beat Governor Hogan?


Do you support sports betting in Maryland?


How will you fix the infrastructure of all Maryland schools?


What is your plan for the Kirwan education funding in Maryland?


Will you give control of the BPD back to Baltimore City if elected?


As Governor, what is a policy you can enact to help small business?


What will be your top priority if elected?


Would you support an independent commission to help with redistricting?


Would you support an independent commission to help with redistricting?


Click the picture below to see a behind the scenes look at WMAR-2 News' debate: