Doug Gansler, Democratic candidate for Governor, said in an interview with former State Senator Bobby Zirkin on behalf of the MSBA that his priorities would include rebuilding the state’s economy following the COVID pandemic. The hour-long interview, which took place on December 9 at the Inscape Theater at the Stevenson University Greenspring Valley Campus in Baltimore County, was live-streamed, recorded, and is widely available to MSBA members and Marylanders across the state looking to learn more about the candidates’ vision and platform. A longtime Montgomery County resident, Gansler graduated from Chevy Chase Elementary School and attended Yale and the University of Virginia School of Law before returning to the state. His career has included serving as an assistant U.S. Attorney, State’s Attorney for Montgomery County, and as Maryland’s Attorney General for two terms. He is currently a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.  

Gansler said his experience as Attorney General, and his prior leadership as a State’s Attorney, makes him uniquely qualified to lead on the topics of criminal justice and crime. His plans, if elected, include implementing “community prosecution,” which includes “prosecutors working with community police and building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.” Gansler pointed out that he is “running against the defund the police crowd” and said we are having trouble hiring police officers “because people are constantly bashing police.” Considering the “number one job of government is to protect its citizens,” he believes implementing community prosecution, requiring training for police officers, making being a police officer “a respected and respectable position,” and using alternative incarceration avenues like drug court is more productive. He feels strongly about training police officers in culture and diversity. Hiring “the best and brightest” and then paying them well is key, he says. Police officers should also be required to obtain associate’s degrees for training purposes. 

On the issue of the environment, Gansler described himself as the only environmentalist running for governor and said he has the track record to prove it. Gansler said Maryland needs “someone in the Governor’s Office that understands the environment from an environmental perspective and from a climate change perspective” and said he has the experience required to work the levers of government to get things done. He noted that, while Attorney General, his office conducted 22 river audits and assertively went after polluters and the state, while simultaneously forming an environmental council and working with local governments to help with their programming. Gansler said that, if elected, his goal is “to make Maryland the environmental center on the East Coast” by incentivizing clean energy, promoting electric cars, and building the infrastructure necessary for that purpose. He also believes a moratorium on sprawl is critical because it is one of the biggest problems Maryland has on the Eastern Shore. 

In closing, Gansler said he wants to lead the state and rebuild the economy in the post-COVID word by tapping “into the potential of every Marylander regardless of what they look like, their socioeconomic status and providing access to opportunity for every Marylander.” That is his “overriding concern,” he says. Gansler wrapped up the conversation by noting he is the “only practicing member of the bar running for governor” and the “only person running for governor with democratic values, experience and record of accomplishment that will provide [him] the opportunity on day one to be governor.” 

You can view Doug Gansler’s entire interview here.