Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Rushern L. Baker III (D) has chosen a career prosecutor, Elizabeth M. Embry of Baltimore, to be his running mate, Maryland Matters has learned.
Baker, the Prince George’s County executive, will announce his selection Tuesday morning at 10:30 at the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens in Baltimore. The duo will then head to Annapolis to file their candidacy papers and have lunch at Chick & Ruth’s, the venerable Main Street eatery.
The choice of the Rawlings conservatory for the announcement venue is rife with symbolism. Rawlings, the late former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in Annapolis and a mentor of Baker’s, is an iconic figure in Baltimore civic life. Embry is from a family that is also prominent in the city’s civic fabric.
She is currently chief of the criminal division in the office of Maryland’s attorney general, Brian Frosh – a prominent supporter of Baker’s. Embry also spent years as a prosecutor in the Baltimore City state’s attorney’s office.
Embry ran for mayor of Baltimore in the 2016 Democratic primary, coming in a distant third behind now-Mayor Catherine Pugh and former mayor Sheila Dixon.
She ran as a reformer with an ability to bring disparate sections of the city together, but critics pointed to her numerous large contributions from politically connected developers. Embry explained that having grown up and working among city leaders, she was bound to have connections with some members of the business community.
The 40-year-old attorney is a Baltimore native and hails from a high-profile family. Her father is the philanthropist Robert C. Embry Jr., head of the Abell Foundation and former housing chief for the late mayor William Donald Schaefer; her mother is sculptor and arts advocate Mary Ann E. Mears.
Baker’s decision to run with Embry comes amid a flurry of running mate selections, as the seven remaining Democrats complete their tickets before the Feb. 27 candidate filing deadline. Her selection had been the subject of rumors in political circles for the past few weeks.
She offers Baker, 59, a term-limited two-term county executive in Prince George’s and former legislator, gender, racial and geographic balance. A source says the two did not know each other before meeting for lunch as Baker ramped up his running mate selection process.
“They just connected,” a source says.
Baltimore media reports have described Embry as “animated and earnest” and a “bright technocrat.”
A Gonzalez poll of likely Democratic voters in January showed Baker with a double-digit lead over his nearest competitors – though fully a third of those surveyed were undecided. The primary is June 26.
Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.