Md. Guv hopeful Perez taps Philly native, Shannon Sneed, as running mate

‘My mom prepared me with a village of Black women and essentially those Black women raised me and I just want to make them proud,’ she said

By: - February 5, 2022 6:30 am

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tom Perez named Shannon Sneed, a former Baltimore City councilmember, as his running mate in his bid to become Maryland’s next governor (Campaign photo/Maryland Matters).

By Stephen Williams

Tom Perez, Democratic candidate in the Maryland governor’s race has chosen Shannon Sneed, a former councilperson, journalist and Philadelphia native as his running mate and lieutenant governor hopeful.

A former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Perez, 60, was appointed secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor by then-President Barack Obama. In addition, Perez was assistant attorney general in the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department in the Obama administration. He also served in several elected and appointed municipal and state positions in Maryland, including the Montgomery County Council.

A former Baltimore councilperson and television editor and producer, Sneed brings both communications and government experience to the table.

“I am so excited. I didn’t plan this — I didn’t grow up saying I want to run for governor or lieutenant governor,” Sneed told The Philadelphia Tribune. “I’ve just been doing the work for the residents of Maryland. I was a Baltimore city councilwoman. I have what I think is some really good legislation and policies that really helped residents in this area.”

Sneed grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia and went to high school at Cedar Grove Christian Academy in the Lawndale neighborhood.

When Perez asked her to be his running mate and chose her as his lieutenant governor candidate, the decision was easy, Sneed said because of his history of public service and their shared vision for Maryland residents.

“Tom Perez, his whole motto is jobs, justice and opportunity. As a councilwoman, that’s what I talked about. I always talked about our folks here in the city need jobs,” Sneed said. “They absolutely need a seat at the table. He didn’t just pop up, he actually served on Council, worked for the state and the Obama administration. He’s been doing the work and I’ve been doing the work and I feel that we are a great team to get things done.”

In a statement, Perez said, “When it came to selecting a lieutenant governor to join the ticket, I knew that Marylanders deserve a leader who has dedicated their life to jobs and justice and has a proven track record of getting things done for working families. From our conversation, I knew that leader is Shannon Sneed.”

Perez Picks Sneed, Former Baltimore City Councilmember, as His Running Mate

For her part, Sneed served a four-year term in Baltimore City Council, before stepping down to run for Council president in 2020. After that, Sneed was a regional director for the Baltimore area, in U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s office. Previously, Sneed worked in the Baltimore mayor’s office of employment development in the communications office.

After earning degrees at University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Morgan State University, Sneed was an assignment editor and producer at Fox 45 and WJZ Channel 13.

The 2022 Maryland gubernatorial primaries are scheduled for June 28 and a governor will be chosen Nov. 8. Incumbent Larry Hogan, a Republican, has served two terms and is prohibited from running for a third by state law.

In 2002, Michael S. Steele was elected lieutenant governor, the first African American to hold that position and the first ever elected to statewide office in Maryland. At the time, Steele was the nation’s highest-ranking African-American Republican elected official and the sole African-American lieutenant governor in the country.

In Pennsylvania, democratic gubernatorial candidate and state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, has chosen first-term state Rep. Austin Davis, D-Allegheny, as his running mate. If elected, Davis would become the state’s first African-American lieutenant governor.

According to Sneed, this campaign will be about putting in the hard work.

“My mom prepared me with a village of Black women and essentially those Black women raised me and I just want to make them proud,” she said.

Stephen Williams is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared. 

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