Over the past two weeks, I’ve heard from many of you – my friends, neighbors and supporters who have urged me to consider running for office. It’s a humbling experience. I’m truly grateful for the confidence that you have in me.
I decided that I would run for office once again only if I believed in my heart that I still had something to give back to our community – the community where I’ve raised my children and dedicated my life to public service.
After serious reflection, prayer and discussion with my wife Karmen and our three children, we are very excited to announce my candidacy for Maryland’s Fourth Congressional District.
For my entire adult life, beginning with the years that I served on active military duty with the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany, I’ve gotten up and out of bed every day ready to serve my neighbors and our nation. From Germany, to a tour of duty in Iraq, to serving two-terms as a State Delegate representing Prince George’s County, to fighting every day for eight years as your Lieutenant Governor, I’ve seen the struggles, challenges, dreams and aspirations that are shared by families throughout Maryland and the 4th Congressional District.
The stakes are high in Washington, but they’re even higher for hard-working families right here in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties.
The dreams of owning a home, and the reality of declining home values, loss of equity and foreclosures; the aspirations of going to college, and the struggles of oppressive student loan debt; the hope of one day retiring comfortably, and the worry that Social Security might not be there when you do; the positive news of post-recession job growth, and the despair of the growing wealth gap and need for small, women and minority owned businesses to access the billions of dollars of spending at the federal level to grow our local economy and jobs; the desire to live and raise a family in a safe neighborhood, and the disturbing fact that too many young black and Latino men fear that they cannot freely walk the streets without profiling and excessive force by law enforcement.
Families in the 4th District have been fortunate to have a leader like Donna Edwards fighting for them every day. With your support, I’ll continue that fight.
For the past 16 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work for you while serving in public office. As a two-term State Delegate working throughout neighborhoods from Suitland to Lake Arbor, and during my eight years as your Lieutenant Governor working with communities from Laurel to Oxon Hill and throughout Anne Arundel County, we’ve worked tirelessly to improve our schools, reduce crime, expand access to healthcare, and create jobs. But our work is far from done.
Together, we’ll fight for every family, regardless of where you live and where you’re from, by ensuring economic security for all. Under President Obama’s leadership, we’ve made great progress, but it’s not enough until everyone who is willing to work hard can find a good job with a family-supporting wage. Our work continues until each of us has access to affordable housing and are protected against foreclosure, and our seniors can retire with the peace of mind that Social Security benefits will be protected and their pensions won’t be raided.
Together, we’ll make sure that every child, regardless of where you live and where you’re from, gets a world-class education. We’ll get it done by establishing universal pre-kindergarten, delivering on President Obama’s call for free community college and providing additional college scholarships, grants, and loans. We will eliminate the achievement gap in education.
Together, we’ll ensure our national security and safety in every neighborhood. We’ll provide the resources needed to ensure that our nation is strong and secure against foreign threats, while also providing our communities with the support needed to reduce crime with community-based and community-involved law enforcement strategies.
I’m running to represent you because I believe in a future where everyone has the opportunity to succeed, not just the privileged few.
I know this isn’t going to be easy, but nothing worth fighting for ever is.
Our best days are still ahead of us. I’m energized to continue the conversation with folks like you about how we can work together to create a better future for our families, our small businesses, our schools and all of our neighborhoods.