Krishanti Vignarajah launched her campaign for governor Tuesday outside the basement apartment in Baltimore County where her parents brought her as an infant after fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka. With her 3-month-old daughter nestled in her husband’s arms, Vignarajah pitched herself as the embodiment of the American Dream, an immigrant raised by public school teachers to become an Ivy League lawyer and policy director to former first lady Michelle Obama.
Vignarajah laid out an aggressive list of campaign promises to a crowd of about 50 people gathered at her childhood home: providing full-day universal pre-K, cutting rush-hour commutes in half with better mass transit, building the Red Line in Baltimore, offering statewide access to high-speed internet, creating 250,000 new private-sector jobs, spending $2.9 billion more on education every year, and guaranteeing every new parent three months of parental leave.
As the only woman in the crowded Democratic field challenging popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, Vignarajah put her gender at the center of her candidacy. As a woman, a Sri Lankan immigrant, one of the chief architects of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative, and wife of the CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, Krishanti Vignarajah is the antithesis of the current administration. But that’s a major part of the reason why she announced her candidacy for governor of Maryland earlier this month.
“I am running for Governor because I am worried my daughter and all children in Maryland will not have the same opportunities my parents gave me when they brought our family here when I was a baby girl,” Vignarajah declares on the front page of her website. “The deficit in leadership from our current Governor could not come at a worse time.” She adds, “I hope Marylanders will agree this time the best man for the job is a woman.”
Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun