ANNAPOLIS — Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot is promising to name a Black woman as his running mate in his 2022 run for governor and wants proposed marijuana legalization to benefit minority and women-owned businesses.
Franchot, a Democrat, also said he would also create a cabinet level office for the Secretary of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
That office will have a focus on improving diversity in government and “economic empowerment for communities that have been structurally denied opportunity”, Franchot’s campaign said in an announcement.
The Democratic unveiled policy proposals aimed at Black Marylanders and communities of color on Monday, Aug. 9.
Franchot said if marijuana is legalized for recreational use in the state he wants 40% of the economic and business benefits to go to minority and women owned businesses. He also said he would ease regulatory and application burdens that might put local growers and cannabis businesses at disadvantage as compared to corporate interests.
Medical marijuana is legal in Maryland and the state could legalize cannabis for recreational use via a ballot measure or at the General Assembly next year.
Franchot also wants to expand access to public information involving police shootings and alleged misconduct, offer tenants’ more rights when it comes to evictions and have the state offer temporary rent payments to landlords for renters who have suffered substantial losses of income.
“I am committed to serving as a governor for all of Maryland, and ensuring every community has a seat at the table on the decisions that will shape our future. My administration will represent a vibrant coalition that is as diverse as the state, and draws on the strength of the many communities that call it home.” Franchot said.
Franchot is part of a crowded Democratic primary field hoping to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Larry Hogan next year. There are also three Republicans in the 2020 race.
The comptroller’s campaign also named Dr. Alvin Hathaway, pastor at Union Baptist Church in Baltimore, as campaign chairman.
Franchot also took a page from President Joe Biden and promised to name a Black woman as his lieutenant governor running mate. Biden promised to pick a woman as his running mate in the 2020 presidential race and eventually picked now Vice President Kamala Harris for that spot.