House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday endorsed former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez in his bid for Maryland governor, calling him the candidate with “the best opportunity to flip the state” blue in 2022.
“Maryland has an opportunity to flip from red to blue and the most qualified person to do just that is my friend Tom Perez,” Pelosi said in a video announcing the endorsement. “Please join me in supporting him as our next governor of Maryland.”
In the video, Pelosi touted Perez’s work on voting and civil rights issues during his time leading the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, as well as his service as Labor Secretary during the Obama administration.
Pelosi also credited Perez with helping Democrats win control of the House, Senate and White House during his tenure as DNC chair.
“Speaker Pelosi is a transformational leader and native Marylander who cares deeply about the future of our state, and it is an incredible honor to have her support,” Perez said in a statement.
The endorsement could give Perez a boost in a crowded Democratic field.
Also running for the party’s gubernatorial nomination is former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former nonprofit executive Jon Baron, Maryland state Comptroller Peter Franchot, former state Attorney General Doug Gansler, former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain, former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr. and former nonprofit executive Wes Moore.
Several Republicans are also competing in the GOP primary, including state Del. Daniel Cox, who secured the endorsement of former President Trump last month.
Incumbent Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, is term-limited and cannot run for reelection, though he is seen as a potential candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.