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John King would focus on education, economy if elected as Maryland’s next governor

4/19/2022 | Brad Bell


When asked why he wants to be governor of Maryland, John B. King tells the story of his childhood.

“Both my parents passed away when I was little,” King said. “My mom when I was eight and my dad when I was 12 and the thing that saved me was public school. And I know public institutions can be transformative in people’s lives.”

He said that belief has guided him throughout a career, which took him from school house to the White House and now he hopes the State House.

It’s a story he shares in his first TV ad as he describes his progression.

“A teacher, a principal, and Secretary of Education under President Obama,” said King in the narration of the ad.

King said his experience makes him qualified to be Governor.

“As education secretary, I oversaw a budget for the education department $15 billion bigger than the state of Maryland’s,” he added.

If elected, he says his first focus will be on the economy.

“Immediately, we’ve got to make sure that we fully recover from the COVID economic crisis,” he said, “and there are still people who are hurting, people who are struggling, with finding affordable housing, with finding good jobs, small business owners who still haven’t fully recovered.”

The 47 year old, married, father of two now lives in Silver Spring with his family King holds degrees from Harvard, Columbia and Yale. He is from New York but speaks of deep Maryland family roots.

“My great grandfather was enslaved just about 25 miles away from where I live in Silver Spring,” he said. “My grandmother graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 1894 changed the whole trajectory of my family.”

That heritage he said speaks to the opportunities available in Maryland, but also remaining challenges.

At the top of the issues section of his website is what he calls his Black agenda.

As governor, he said every bill that reaches his desk must have a racial equity impact statement attached.

“We need to commit to education, to invest in violence prevention programs, after school programs, summer jobs for teens,” King said. “We have to do more to make sure young people get on the right track and to address our underlying racial equity challenges.”