By Doni Glover, Publisher
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(BALTIMORE – February 27, 2022) – This has got to be one of the weirdest gubernatorial campaign seasons ever. COVID has forced all candidates to pivot from the traditional coursework and adapt to the new reality. Yep! More zooms and less in-person meetings. Yet, with mask restrictions being lifted ubiquitously, there will certainly be more hand-to-hand, on-the-ground activity, and immediately so.
Inflation is across the board, also, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine only worsens the international markets. The cost of most everything is increasing, including TV political advertising. I just think it’s interesting that things appear so … quiet. And maybe that’s where we are: a more subtle election.
Maybe, there are seasoned political observers who assume that Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, for instance, will just by-pass his Democratic competition at warp speed, slam the Republican in November, and cruise right into the Annapolis State House.
For some reason, I’m not 100% convinced that it’s going to be that easy. After all, Montgomery County – Franchot’s home base, has no shortage of Democratic gubernatorial candidates.
To his credit, Franchot has been campaigning for the past 8 years. And, yes, it’s extremely difficult for anybody to simply come into the ring and take his lunch money. Like a boxing champion – he has lived, eaten, and breathed politics all day every day for several years now. That’s all he has focused on: being Governor of Maryland. In his mind and those of his supporters, he is closer than ever before to that political pinnacle and can surely taste the sweet savor of victory dancing on the excited taste buds in his mouth.
Also to his credit, he has impressed some with his past actions on the Board of Public Works as he has consistently spoken up for more minority participation in state contracts. There are those in the Black business community who regularly make mention of this as their justification for supporting him.
In short, it’s Franchot’s race to lose.
I imagine we’ll soon see a parade of commercials with certain Black people endorsing him.
Yet, despite Franchot’s historic popularity, I am reminded of the power of the Black vote in Maryland and how it still sways any election.
While Franchot has grown his legacy since his days as a 20th district Delegate from Montgomery County in the mid-80s, Black people have been evolving, too. Just as Franchot has expanded his territory, the Black community has been growing businesses, families, and communities. Blacks have also consistently demonstrated increased political savvy.
When Franchot was a delegate, it was a different world. That was back in 1986. This is 2022. A lot has changed in America. Back then, it was unheard of for white officers, for example, to go to prison for killing Black people. Today, it is a reality.
In 1986, Blacks in Maryland weren’t ready for a Republican. Today, because Blacks have demonstrated a certain political maturity, Republicans have been in Annapolis for 12 of the first 22 years in this 21st century.
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