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2022 Maryland Governor Candidate Profile: Tom Perez

2022 Maryland Governor Candidate Profile: Tom Perez
2022 Maryland Governor Candidate Profile: Tom Perez 02:21

BALTIMORE -- WJZ continues to highlight the candidates running in the primary election to become Maryland's next governor.

Next up is former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the state's top elected office.

Perez said he wants to create jobs, justice and opportunity for every Marylander. He's also touting a plan to tackle the key issues in Baltimore.

"It's really important to have a governor who can hit the ground running day one," Perez said. "That's why I'm running, so that we can, from day one, build a Maryland that works for everyone."

Perez has a long career as a civil rights attorney, but he's no stranger to public office. He got his start in politics by serving on the Montgomery County Council. From there, he went on to become the Maryland Secretary of Labor.

He was later appointed by President Barack Obama as the U.S. Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights before being selected four years later as the Obama administration's U.S. Secretary of Labor.

Perez said he intends to bring his knowledge from all of those positions to Maryland's governor's office.

"I think we have such an opportunity in Maryland to move the needle on so many things that matter to people," Perez said.

Last month, a Goucher College poll found Perez tied with Wes Moore polling at 14% each among likely Democratic voters, just behind Comptroller Peter Franchot who had 16% support.

WJZ asked Perez about his top campaign issues ahead of the July 19 primary election.

"Education, transportation, climate change," he said. "I want to build a clean energy economy where Maryland is the offshore wind capital of the United States."

Perez said he is also focused on the issues of Baltimore City. If elected, he plans to partner with other elected leaders to reduce crime and get guns off the city's streets.

"I know how to work with Mayor Scott, the residents of the city of Baltimore to tackle the crime challenges," Perez said. " When you have true partnership, you can solve just about any challenge."

Perez has endorsements from Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and The Washington Post, among many others.

He said his campaign is powered by the people of Maryland and he's ready to serve them. Having traveled across the state to spread his message, he said he plans to spend the final few days before next week's primary doing the same.

"I look forward to building a Maryland where everybody has access to opportunity," Perez said.

For more information about Perez's plan, click here.

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