Politico

Former DNC head Perez 'taking a look at' Maryland governor bid


Former Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez is considering a run for Maryland governor in 2022.

“I live here in Maryland,” he told liberal podcaster Bill Press in an episode of Press’ show, “The Bill Press Pod,” set to air on Tuesday morning. “Our current incumbent [governor] is term-limited. [I’m] taking a look at that; we’ll see what happens.”

Perez opted not to seek another term as head of the DNC after guiding the party through now-President Joe Biden’s successful election campaign and an overstuffed primary process that saw more than two dozen candidates vying for the nomination. Former South Carolina state party chair Jaime Harrison, who ran unsuccessfully for Senate last year, was recently confirmed as his replacement at the national party.

Perez was the secretary of labor for much of former President Barack Obama’s second term. He helmed the Maryland labor department under then-Gov. Martin O’Malley during the late 2000s and was previously elected to serve on the Montgomery County council, just outside Washington.

The field in Maryland remains largely unsettled. On the Democratic side, longtime state Comptroller Peter Franchot has already announced he is running, with a field of as many as a dozen other Democrats mentioned as potential candidates.

Perez would likely bring an extensive rolodex to a potential gubernatorial bid from his time as DNC chief and in the Obama administration that would help him fundraise to support a bid.

Perez’ former role as DNC chief could also tie back around to a potential gubernatorial bid. He oversaw ever-increasing qualifying rules the DNC set for its sanctioned debates, which pushed candidates to raise money from grassroots supporters. Those debate rules quickly pushed former Rep. John Delaney, a fellow Marylander, off the stage, after Delaney was unable to tally up the public support, either in polls or from donors, to qualify.

Delaney, who largely self-funded his presidential bid, has been mentioned as a potential 2022 gubernatorial candidate, alongside Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, Baltimore County Executive John Olszewski and many others.

Incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan can’t run again in 2022, after his upset victory in 2014 and subsequently winning reelection in 2018, despite the state’s blue tilt at the federal level. Hogan has been mulling a presidential run.

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