Vexed by low poll numbers and a lack of financial support, Democrat Rushern L. Baker III suspended his campaign for governor on Friday, Maryland Matters reports.
In an interview with Maryland Matters in his College Park office, Baker, a former Prince George’s county executive, said he was proud of his 14-month bid for his party’s nomination. But his campaign is low on funds, leaving him unable to compete during the final stretch. The primary is July 19.
“We were hitting our stride. I think if we had a million dollars, we could win this,” he said. “It feels good when you’re on the ground [campaigning]. But the reality is, unless you can match that on the air … we can get close, but we won’t get there. So I think we have to be realistic.”
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The Baker camp recently reported having less than $100,000 on hand, a minuscule sum compared to the millions amassed by several of his rivals — and not nearly enough to to buy ads in the state’s two media markets during the six-week homestretch. Days after the fundraising report, campaign manager Andrew Mallinoff stepped down, citing a desire to devote more time to his music career.
Baker launched his gubernatorial bid 14 months ago. Polls funded by rival campaigns as well as his own survey initially put him in the top tier of Democratic primary candidates, a group that also included Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, author and former nonprofit CEO Wes Moore and former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez.
On Sunday, however, a Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll, the first independent survey of the campaign, showed Baker a distant fourth, with just 7% support, well behind Franchot, Moore and Perez. They had 20%, 15% and 12% respectively.
Coverage of the 2022 elections