Former Obama Education secretary running for governor in Maryland

Former Obama Education secretary running for governor in Maryland
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Former Education Secretary John B. King Jr., launched a bid for Maryland governor on Tuesday.

King served as a principal senior adviser for the Department of Education before becoming secretary in March 2016, during the final year of the Obama administration. The video unveiling his campaign features audio of former President Obama touting his background in education. 

“A teacher, a principal. He shares our commitment to preparing every child for success, Dr. John King,” Obama says in the video.


The gubernatorial campaign will be King’s first bid for public office, and if elected, he would be the first Black and Latino governor of Maryland.

King’s campaign focuses on his background in education, and advancing equity across the state. His campaign website makes note of the fact that where he lives in Silver Spring, Md., is 25 miles away from where his great-grandfather and family were enslaved in Gaithersburg, Md.

“Building a movement for real change may sound like a long-shot, but the truth is my whole life has been a long-shot — in fact, my ancestors could not have imagined that I would be where I am today. I am living because they survived,” King says in a quote on his website.


“I am running for them and to make good on the promise of a better future for Marylanders for generations to come,” he said.

King currently runs the progressive advocacy group Strong Future Maryland, and is a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park.

King is the second Democrat to officially jump in the race to replace Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who is term-limited.

Maryland's Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, also announced a bid to run for governor. Kelly Schulz, the state’s Commerce Secretary, has launched a Republican bid for Hogan’s seat.