Bethesda resident Jon Baron, a former federal official and nonprofit executive, is exploring a run to succeed Gov. Larry Hogan, who will reach his term limit in 2022.
“When I was growing up in a middle-class family in Montgomery County, we often heard politicians talk about problems facing our state like poverty, low-performing schools, and poor healthcare,” Baron wrote on his campaign website. “Yet, decades later, we still face many of the same challenges.”
The Democrat said a new approach is needed to solve problems plaguing society and that his policy background would help him achieve results.
“I’ve dedicated my career to studying the research about what works to improve people’s lives and working with policymakers to expand proven solutions,” Baron said in a tweet. “I’d make sure we adopt those solutions here.”
Baron currently serves as vice president of evidence-based policy at Arnold Ventures, a philanthropy based in Texas. The group recently financed a controversial pilot program that flew a surveillance aircraft over Baltimore to monitor violent crime. The potential candidate for candidate told The Baltimore Sun that he was not involved with the program.
Before starting at Arnold Ventures in 2015, Baron founded the Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy and led the nonprofit for 14 years.
He worked for the Department of Defense during the Clinton administration and was appointed to commissions focused on international trade and education sciences by presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Baron joins a crowded field of possible contenders for the Democratic primary.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot already announced his candidacy, while others — including former Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks — are reportedly weighing bids.