Tech Entrepreneur from Baltimore is First Democrat to Enter Md. Governor’s Race

Baltimore nonprofit founder, author and former Obama administration technology adviser Alec Ross on Wednesday became the first in what is expected to be a crowded field of Democrats to enter Maryland’s 2018 gubernatorial race.

As reported by The Washington Post,

The 46-year-old political newcomer declared his candidacy through social media and his campaign website, saying he has the knowledge and experience to prepare the state’s economy for the future.

Courtesy Alec Ross gubernatorial campaign

At least seven other Democrats have said they are considering a 2018 run for governor, including Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, former Maryland attorney general Douglas F. Gansler, former NAACP executive director Benjamin Jealous, Baltimore County Executive Kevin B. Kamenetz, state Sen. Richard Madaleno (Montgomery), state Del. Maggie McIntosh (Baltimore) and attorney James Shea.

The winner of the Democratic primary is expected to face Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who has said he will run for reelection.

Ross, a Johns Hopkins fellow who served as a technology-policy adviser to Obama’s first presidential campaign and then as tech czar for the U.S. State Department, wrote “The Industries of the Future,” a 2016 nonfiction book that spent two months on the New York Times’ list of business bestsellers.

He graduated from Northwestern University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in history before joining Teach for America, which assigned him to a tough middle school in Baltimore. His work there was detailed in a three-part series in The Baltimore Sun.

In 2002, Ross founded a nonprofit group that focused on providing low-income and underserved communities with access to high-speed Internet. The organization has since become a multimillion-dollar corporation.

In his book, Ross predicted that five industries would dominate the global economy of the next several decades. They included robotics, cybersecurity, genomics, data analysis and digital currency.

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