Former Michelle Obama aide enters Maryland governor's race

Former Michelle Obama aide enters Maryland governor's race
© Courtesy Krish Vignarajah campaign

Krishanti Vignarajah, a former policy director for former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObama on social media: You’ve got to ‘think before you tweet’ MSNBC trolls Trump with video montage of Obama saying ‘Merry Christmas’ Overnight Regulation: USDA delays healthy school lunch requirements | Senate panel advances controversial environmental pick | Drone industry pushes to ease rules | Dem commish joins energy regulator MORE, is entering the race for Maryland governor. 

“I am running for Governor because I am worried my daughter will not have the same opportunities my parents gave me when they brought our family here when I was a baby girl," Vignarajah, 37, said in a statement. "I hope Marylanders will agree the best man for the job is a woman.”

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Vignarajah said that, if elected, she would focus on "improving schools, increasing wages, reducing crime, treating drug addiction, alleviating traffic, investing in infrastructure, and protecting" the environment. 

The former Obama administration official also ripped the state's current Republican governor, Larry Hogan, accusing him of running a "deficit in leadership."

"Most of my life, Maryland has been a beacon of hope, opportunity, innovation, and courage. We led the nation in school performance, job creation, and conservation," she said. "But today too many of the students who can least afford to be left behind have been forgotten altogether. Too many workers have been left out. And our precious Chesapeake Bay faces its greatest risks in decades."

Five other Democrats are already vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. They include Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker; Alec Ross, a tech entrepreneur and Obama State Department alum; Maryland state Sen. Richard Madaleno; attorney James Shea; and Ben Jealous, a former NAACP president who has the backing of Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (I-Vt.).

Others, including policy consultant Maya Rockeymoore, the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), have expressed interest in running as well.

Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) announced in July that he would forego a gubernatorial run and would instead mount a bid for the White House in 2020.