Ashwani Jain is running for Maryland governor in 2022.
As his lieutenant gubernatorial running mate, Mr. Jain chose LaTrece Hawkins Lytes, a community activist.
Ashwani Jain Bio
Ashwani Jain is a Maryland Democrat and former appointee in the Obama administration.
He announced in January 2021 that he was running for governor of Maryland.
Below are some essential biographical bits about Mr. Jain:
- In 2018, Jain for an at-large Montgomery County Council seat. He was defeated in the Democratic primary.
- Jain is a cancer survivor.
- He lives in Potomac, Maryland.
- He’s the son of Indian immigrants.
Ashwani Jain birthday
Ashwani Jain’s birthday is August 12, 1989.
He is 32 years old.
Where did Ashwani Jain go to school?
Mr. Jain also holds a dual undergraduate degree in political science and business management from the University of Maryland.
Ashwani Jain earned a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University.
Has Ashwani Jain ever held political office?
Mr. Jain has never held elected office.
His campaign website says people his age “are tired of a broken system” and tired of “waiting their turn” to run for office.
The first millennial governor
If elected Maryland governor, Jain says he’d become the nation’s “first millennial Governor” and Maryland’s “first governor of color.”
“The world has changed, and our politics needs to adapt,” Jain says.
“It’s time for (sic) to change the narrative of who deserves a seat at the table.”
Ashwani Jain’s professional experience
Jain is a former presidential political appointee in the Obama administration.
He held the following positions:
- He served in the White House Office of Personnel.
- Jain served as Joe Biden’s Outreach Director for the Cancer Moonshot program when Biden was vice president.
- Associate director of external affairs with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Deputy White House liaison at Housing and Urban Development
Jain endorsed by Joe Biden and Julián Castro in 2018
Mr. Biden, who was elected president in 2020, endorsed Jain’s 2018 Montgomery County Council bid.
Former U.S. House and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro also endorsed Jain’s 2018 County Council bid.
Mr. Casto briefly ran for president in 2020.
Ashwani Jain’s gubernatorial platform
He’s running for “two main reasons:”
- Making Maryland state government “more representative, transparent, and accountable.”
- He’ll focus on a “Relief, Recovery, and Reform” plan.
How does Jain plan to fund his policy proposals?
Mr. Jain says he will fund his policy proposals through short and long-term solutions.
In the long-term, Jain said his state funding proposals would include “supporting measures such as collective bargaining and paid leave.”
He recommends “investing in commerce centers, expanding public school apprenticeships,” reforming Maryland’s tax code, “and prioritizing corporate-social responsibility.”
Maryland cannabis legalization
In the short-term, Jain supports legalizing medicinal cannabis to “generate millions of dollars to invest in the needs” of Maryland, and he proposes legalizing “chair-store liquor sales,” which, he says, “could generate up to $200 million in direct economic benefit.”
In April 2022, Maryland lawmakers voted in favor of House Bill 1, a constitutional amendment to place adult-use recreational cannabis on the November ballot.
Larry Hogan (R) did not sign or veto the General Assembly’s cannabis legislation, effectively allowing the legislation to become law.
Past cannabis convictions would be automatically expunged if the Maryland voters approved the constitutional amendment this November.
Moreover, anyone currently serving time for past cannabis convictions would become eligible for resentencing.
Anyone convicted in the past on a possession with intent to distribute charge could petition the Maryland courts for expungement three years after serving out their sentence.
Does Jain support Montgomery County liquor privatization?
A 2018 Friends of White Flint questionnaire asked Montgomery County Council candidates whether alcohol sales in the County should be privatized or continue to be managed by local government.
Mr. Jain’s response did not directly call for abolishing Montgomery County’s liquor monopoly.
He questioned how to make “the DLC run better” and whether Montgomery County could “create an ecosystem” benefitting all county employees, business owners, and residents.
He later suggested revisiting a 2015 Council bill “that would have allowed private distributors to sell certain ‘specialty’ products such as craft beer and fine wine that the DLC does not regularly stock.”
Ashwani Jain on Maryland criminal justice reform
Mr. Jain proposes the following criminal justice reforms:
- Banning chokehold.
- Ending the “money-bail system.”
- Ending solitary confinement.
- Stop extreme criminal sentencing for children.
Jain says he would reallocate public safety funds “to expand necessary services” that would reduce the need for police officers “to respond to incidents with mentally ill individuals or incidents involving “ongoing social work issues.”
Jain on police relations and immigration
Jain would like to prevent Maryland police departments from cooperating with ICE for non-violent offenders.”
He says Maryland should only deport “undocumented foreign nationals who have committed violent crimes and pose a threat to public safety.”
Jain on Maryland transportation
Mr. Jain would push a “comprehensive transit and road infrastructure plan” that reduces traffic congestion and pollution.”
Doing so, Jain says, would provide “greater security, accessibility, and connectivity” for all Maryland residents.
As far as building an additional bridge over the Chesapeake Bay, Jain is seemingly opposed.
“Low-impact alternatives,” such as “ferries and designated bus lanes to quicker connect Eastern and Western Shore residents,” Jain said.
Ashwani Jain opposes Larry Hogan’s I-270/495 P3 plan
He says Hogan’s plan is “flawed” and that it provides “no specific information” on traffic reduction.
Mr. Hogan’s managed traffic relief plan is designed to reduce beltway congestion in the National Capital Region by enlisting the help of private contractors to “design, build, finance, operate and maintain improvements” on Interstates 270 and 495.
But an 18,000-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and the Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation for the Managed Lanes Study demonstrate the effectiveness of Mr. Hogan’s plan.
The DEIS report addresses regional economics, presenting a bleak picture of stymied growth if regional traffic congestion remains at current levels.
Ashwani Jain’s Maryland education platform
Mr. Jain proposes using empty school buses as public hotspots to expand broadband services to low-income communities.
Maryland currently has “several student loan forgiveness programs that are specific to just the State of Maryland,” according to The College Investor.
In April 2022, the Maryland State Education Association endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore.
Student loan forgiveness
Though he doesn’t provide many specifics, Mr. Jain proposes student loan forgiveness for Marylanders pursuing a teaching career.
Jain supports Kirwan Commission
Jain supports implementing the Kirwan Commission recommendations.
Jain is a proponent of implementing universal pre-kindergarten in all Maryland school jurisdictions.
Jain on public school safety
Mr. Jain would eliminate all school resource officers (SROs).
“Our schools should not feel like a prison,” Jain says, “and students should not be policed.”
He proposes replacing school resource officers with social workers and counselors – a policy change, he says, that places a “higher priority on mental health and wellness.”
Jain on Maryland school choice
Jain opposes all school privatization.
He is “deeply opposed” to school privatization and fears handing over Maryland’s “prestigious school system to private contractors.”
Money in Maryland politics
Mr. Jain says Maryland hasn’t done enough to get “money out of politics.”
In 2018, several Montgomery County executive and County Council candidates opted to use the county’s new public financing system.
24 candidates that year raised enough money to receive matching funds.
Candidates who use the financing system commit to accepting no more than $150 from an individual.
Candidates who met the qualifying thresholds were eligible to receive matching funds.
Ashwani Jain did not use public financing in 2018
In 2018, Ashwani Jain did not participate in Montgomery County’s new campaign financing system.
Jain used traditional financing instead.
Montgomery County’s public financing system was set up to enable more small-dollar donors to participate in funding their preferred local candidates.
Public financing aims to lessen the influence wealthy donors and corporations have over political candidates.
Maryland campaign finance law allows individuals to donate up to $6,000 to a candidate in a campaign cycle.
Mr. Jain raised around $233,000 when he ran for County Council in 2018 and personally invested $47,000 of his own money in his campaign.
He said that he was “fortunate to have a lot of friends and family” who believed in him and supported his campaign.
Jain says he does not accept campaign donations from corporations and developers.
Maryland Democrats running for governor in 2022
Mr. Baker served as Prince George’s County executive from 2010 to 2018.
He ran for Maryland governor in 2018 but was defeated in the Democratic primary.
Rushern Baker’s running mate: Montgomery County Councilwoman Nancy Navarro.
Mr. Baron is a former nonprofit executive, an expert in evidence-based policy, and a former federal official.
Jon Baron’s running mate: Former television journalist and communications professional Natalie Williams.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot
Mr. Franchot has served as Maryland comptroller since 2007.
Peter Franchot’s running mate: Former Prince George’s County Councilwoman Monique Anderson-Walker.
Mr. Gansler served two terms as Maryland attorney general from 2007 to 2015.
He was a candidate for governor in 2014 but was defeated by Anthony Brown in the Democratic primary.
Doug Gansler’s running mate: Former Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth.
Mr. Jaffe is a perennial candidate.
Ralph Jaffe’s running mate: Mark Greben.
John King Jr.
Mr. King served as U.S. education secretary from 2016 to 2016 under President Obama.
John King’s running mate: Women’s Law Center of Maryland Executive Director Michelle Siri.
Wes Moore’s running mate: Former Maryland state Del. Aruna Miller.
Mr. Perez served as Democratic National Committee Chairman from 2017 to 2021.
Former President Barack Obama tapped Perez as his U.S. labor secretary, a position Perez held from 2013 to 2017.
Perez also served as Maryland’s labor secretary from 2007–to 2009 under former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
Tom Perez’s running mate: Former Baltimore City Councilmember Shannon Sneed.