Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Maryland in a "state of lawlessness," gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler says in crime-focused campaign

Democrat Doug Gansler is the former Attorney General of Maryland and a past State's Attorney in his native Montgomery County. Given that resume, it's not surprising that crime has been a major focus of his campaign as the July 19, 2022 Democratic primary approaches. In a statement released this morning after a police detective was carjacked in Baltimore Tuesday night, Gansler says, "Maryland is in a state of lawlessness when people feel at liberty to carjack, shoot, or assassinate doctors, police officers, and people who are just minding their own business trying to get through their day."

Carjackings, often by armed robbers, have become a frequent occurrence in Montgomery County as well in the pandemic era. Drivers from Bethesda to Silver Spring and Gaithersburg have found themselves in the crosshairs of carjackers over the last two years. Even Potomac hasn't escaped the trend.

Gansler is tacking against the "defund the police" sentiment of some in his party. He sees a police shortage, and is promising to instead put "more and better-paid police officers on our streets." Gansler says he would balance a tougher stance on crime with funding for programs that address the root causes of lawbreaking. "We will...invest in the necessary resources to solve every murder and every carjacking while also fast-tracking funding for community infrastructure projects like youth recreation centers in high-crime areas," Gansler says in today's statement, which also accuses the state of having neglected the City of Baltimore "for too long."

In a crowded Democratic race, Gansler carries the advantage of having been elected to a statewide office before. He has been endorsed by more than 40 current and past attorneys general from across the country, and was named a 2022 Moms Demand Action Gun Sense Candidate. Gansler's path to victory would likely have to include a strong turnout in his home base of Montgomery County, Baltimore residents fed up with crime, and a sizable chunk of moderate Democrats in Southern Maryland and on the Eastern Shore. He could benefit from being the only candidate in his lane, which is relatively moderate and tough-on-crime, while the other candidates are vigorously competing to be seen as the most-progressive. The question remains, is that a winning lane in the Maryland Democratic Party circa 2022?

Also running for governor are Democrats Rushern Baker, Jon Baron, Peter Franchot, Ralph Jaffe, Ashwani Jain, John King, Wes Moore, Tom Perez, and Jerome M. Segal. Republicans Dan Cox, Robin Ficker, Kelly Schulz and Joe Werner will face off in their own July 19 primary. Libertarian David Lashar and Unaffiliated candidate Kyle Sefcik will take on the winners of the two major party primaries in the November general election.

Photo via Friends of Doug Gansler

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