Jun 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Former DNC Chair Tom Perez running for governor of Maryland

Chair of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez speaks prior to the Democratic presidential primary debate.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez announced Tuesday that he's running for governor of Maryland.

Why it matters: The longtime Democratic official brings name-recognition, a high capacity to fundraise and coveted endorsements to the crowded field of candidates, notes NBC News.

The big picture: Perez previously helmed the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and worked with former President Barack Obama as the labor secretary before leading the DNC in 2016.

  • He began his career in politics on the city council of Montgomery County, Md. before running Maryland's labor department under then-Gov. Martin O'Malley.

The candidates vying for the position include former Education Secretrary John King Jr., former Prince George's County executive Rushern Baker, former Attorney General of Maryland Doug Gansler and Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, among others.

Between the lines: Perez in his candidacy video highlights his background as the son of immigrant parents and his work under Obama — who had once called him “one of the best secretaries of labor in our history.”

  • Maryland has had a Republican governor for eight years, though it has typically voted for Democrats in presidential elections.
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