Jon Baron launches Maryland gubernatorial campaign

Who is Jon Baron?

Jon Baron is now the seventh man to enter the 2022 Maryland Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Until May 2021, Baron was vice president of the nonpartisan Texas-based philanthropic organization Arnold Ventures, led by former oil executive Laura Arnold and her husband, John Arnold, an investor.

He previously founded and led the nonpartisan, nonprofit Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy from 2001 until it dissolved in 2015.

Baron, 58, worked in Bill Clinton’s Department of Defense in the ’90s, leading the Department’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

He was also appointed to boards and commissions by both presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as reported by The Baltimore Sun.

Jon Baron’s Campaign Ad: “A Very Different Approach” 

“A middle-class kid who grew up in Maryland” is how Baron describes himself in his first campaign ad released Monday.

The three-minute YouTube campaign ad, “A Very Different Approach,” highlights Baron’s policy vision for Maryland.

“We heard politicians talk about problems in our state: poverty, failing schools, poor healthcare. Everybody had a new plan. But here we are a decade later; we still face many of the same challenges,” Baron said, with nostalgic piano music accompanying Baron’s narration.

Baron’s ad toggles between cartoon-like animations and speaking before a group of people ostensibly interested in his gubernatorial campaign.

Who is Jon Baron?

“Clearly, we need a very different approach,” Baron said.

He said he’s been on a “mission” for 20 years “to find effective new strategies to solve our toughest challenges.”

He worked with the Bush and Obama administrations to pass “major reforms” that were enacted into law, he said, that produced big gains in education, earnings and healthcare.”

“For decades, we’ve failed to make meaningful progress on some of our toughest challenges,” Baron said.

“Today, a quarter of Maryland middle schoolers still can’t read at a basic level. Wages are stagnant as income inequality has grown. Healthcare costs keep rising. And racial inequities persist in all these areas.”

Not once in Baron’s ad did he mention his political party affiliation.

Policy Pronouncements 

Baron says he’ll tackle Maryland’s long-term challenges with strategies proven to work.

He promises to pass “bold, new ideas. And if they’re effective,” he says, “we’ll expand them.”

“Let’s do what works.”

Baron’s press release announcing his candidacy lists a few of his policy proposals:

  • A “Back to Work Bonus” to help reopen our state as we emerge from the pandemic;

  • A statewide tutoring program to help struggling elementary schoolers before their problems get worse in later grade;

  • Proven-effective job training, in partnership with Maryland businesses, for every young adult who wants to advance;

  • A program to prevent unnecessary and costly rehospitalizations of older patients;

  • An innovative earnings supplement to help bring the long-term unemployed out of poverty.

Using his decades of experience as a reformer in evidence-based policy, Baron says he’ll fight daily to improve Maryland schools, raise healthcare quality while lowering costs, increase earnings, and provide opportunities for all Marylanders.

He promises not to “take a dime of corporate or special interest money.”

Who is Jon Baron?

“Look, here’s the bottom line: If we simply continue on our current course, we’ll be here in 20 years, and nothing will have changed.”

Ryan Miner is the Editor of A Miner Detail, a leading Maryland politics blog and multimedia news hub. In addition, he is the host of A Miner Detail Podcast.

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