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Election 2022 Government & Politics

In Rocky Release, Adams Announces Endorsements in Comptroller Race

Bowie Mayor Timothy J. Adams, a Democratic candidate for comptroller, chats with the crowd at the J. Millard Tawes Clam Bake and Crab Feast in Crisfield. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to remove some elected officials from the endorsement list released by the Adams campaign. 

Bowie Mayor Timothy J. Adams, a Democratic candidate for state comptroller, released a list of dozens of endorsements from Democratic officials across Maryland on Thursday — though his campaign had to pull back a dozen of those endorsers by the end of the day.

Adams’ mass endorsement release follows a long march of endorsements for his Democratic primary opponent, state Del. Brooke E. Lierman of Baltimore City.

The endorsement list released by Adams’ campaign includes Del. Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus; Prince George’s County Council President Calvin Hawkins, Prince George’s County Councilmember Jolene Ivey, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, Baltimore City Council President Nick J. Mosby, and former Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young.

“Maryland’s taxes will be in safe hands with Tim Adams,” Ivey said in a statement. “His experience with growing and running his successful company positions him as the front runner in the knowledge he’ll need to protect our money. His life experiences as an African-American man who has had to adapt to a physical disability make him a role model for all of us.”

Hours after the endorsement list became public, some officials said they never endorsed the Democratic comptroller candidate.

Bowie City Councilmembers Adrian Boafo, the mayor pro tem, Ingrid Harris, and Henri Gardner issued a statement calling for a correction from the Adams’ campaign.

“This morning, our names appeared on a press release endorsing Tim Adams in his bid for comptroller, which we have not done,” Boafo, Harrison and Gardner wrote. “While each of us have a great working relationship with Mayor Adams, there was no communication or confirmation in advance of the endorsement. We are asking the Adams’ campaign to issue a correction immediately.”

Sen. Michael A. Jackson (D-Prince George’s) also appeared on the initial list of endorsers, but said he likewise hadn’t endorsed Adams, and did not expect to endorse any candidate the comptroller primary.

Several people included on the list were caught off-guard. Thirteen people formally removed their names by the end of the day; others declined to comment about their continued inclusion.

Adams’ original endorsement list included 54 names, but an updated list provided by the campaign in the evening contained 42 names.

In addition to Boafo, Harrison, Gardner and Jackson, officials who appeared on the initial list of endorsers but did not appear on the updated list include:

  • Bowie Councilmember Roxy Ndebumadu
  • Prince George’s County Councilmember Rodney Streeter (D)
  • Del. Charlotte Crutchfield (D-Montgomery)
  • Del. Marvin E. Holmes Jr. (D-Prince George’s)
  • Del. Michael J. Rodgers (D-Anne Arundel)
  • Del. Jay Walker (D-Prince George’s) and
  • Sen. Ronald L. Watson (D-Prince George’s).

At the end of the day, 10 state delegates who serve with Lierman remained on Adams’ endorsement list, including House Economic Matters Chair C.T. Wilson (D-Charles) and a half-dozen members of the Prince George’s County delegation to the General Assembly.

“Tim Adams is my candidate because I am convinced he understands the needs of diverse communities like those in Montgomery County,” Del. Gabriel T. Acevero (D-Montgomery) said in the Adams campaign news release. “I know that he will go to Annapolis to fight for accountability and fight for justice. He is the change we need.”

Lierman has racked up endorsements from many of her legislative colleagues, including House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) and Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) as part of her own campaign.

Adams’ campaign appears to be retooling after largely flying under the radar for most of this year. He recently brought on Jyot Singh, who had been press secretary for the campaign of erstwhile Democratic gubernatorial contender Michael Rosenbaum. And Kevin Harris, a national Democratic strategist who worked for the Ben Jealous gubernatorial campaign in 2018 and has held several jobs on Capitol Hill, including executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus, has signed on as a consultant.

Adams, the first Black mayor of Bowie and the founder and CEO of the multimillion-dollar defense contracting firm Systems Application & Technologies, has said he wants to overhaul the state’s procurement process to be more competitive for businesses owned by women and people of color as part of his campaign. He has touted his business leadership acumen on the campaign trail.

“I know that Maryland can do more to take care of our most vulnerable, ensure that everyone pays their fair share, and finally deliver on the promise that minority and women-owned firms have a fair opportunity to do business with the state,” Adams said in a press release. “As an entrepreneur and mayor who has broken down these barriers and successfully governed during the pandemic, I’ve shown how change can become our reality instead of a political slogan. Now is the time for trusted leadership and executive experience.”

Adams reported raising $2,142,040 in 2021 and has largely bankrolled his own campaign. Lierman took in $1,736,469.

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R) remains the lone declared Republican in the comptroller race. The competitive Democratic primary election for comptroller comes after incumbent Peter V.R. Franchot (D), who has held the position since 2007, announced his own gubernatorial bid.

Danielle E. Gaines and Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.