Former State Department adviser announces run for Maryland governor

Former State Department adviser announces run for Maryland governor
© Getty

Alec Ross, a high-profile former aide in former President Obama's State Department, is jumping into the Maryland governor's race in to challenge Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. 

The former top adviser at the State Department under Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: Bolton tells Russians 2016 meddling had little effect | Facebook eyes major cyber firm | Saudi site gets hacked | Softbank in spotlight over Saudi money | YouTube fights EU 'meme ban' proposal Dems lower expectations for 'blue wave' Election Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout MORE slammed Hogan in a statement and video announcing his candidacy by previewing what's likely to be a regular line of attack — tying Hogan to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report MORE.
"Hogan is embracing Donald Trump’s agenda, which will hurt our schools, do damage to the Chesapeake Bay and simply doesn’t reflect the values of most Marylanders," he said in the statement. 
“We’re not going to beat Larry Hogan with the same old ideas by the same old politicians. That simply won’t work. My campaign will be about new, innovative ideas to better prepare all of our students for the new economy, make government more transparent and to stop Donald Trump from imposing his agenda in our state.”
That theme remained in his announcement video, where he criticized Hogan for inviting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, an unpopular figure on the left, to visit a Maryland school to "promote their misguided ideas." 
Ross played up his ties to both Obama and Clinton in his announcement video, showing him alongside both Democratic politicians. Maryland statewide office is typically a safe bet for Democrats, which has made Hogan one of the party's top gubernatorial targets. 
And he also evoked his background as both a middle school teacher in Baltimore and as an expert on innovation — his post at the State Department was senior adviser on innovation and he's since written a best-selling book on the topic — as proof that he can change business as usual in the state. 
"Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. That has to change," Ross said in his announcement video. 
"I've dedicated my career to expanding educational and economic opportunity to those who currently don't have it. So my campaign is about new ideas, a new way of thinking about challenging government to do better for hardworking families."