Staff Writer Jax Gay
Democrat Alec Ross is running for governor of Maryland in this year’s midterm elections. On Monday (19 February), he announced Julie Verratti as his running mate.
Verratti is a business owner in the state. With her wife, Emily Bruno, and brother-in-law, she opened Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring.
She’s now running as lieutenant governor alongside Ross.
Verratti has experience in politics and policy. Prior to becoming a business owner, she served as a Presidential Management Fellow and Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration. There, she focused her attentions on the Affordable Care Act, veterans entrepreneurship, women’s business ownership, and local economic development policies.
Politics don’t intimidate her, either.
She’s testified before Congress, the Maryland State Legislature, Montgomery County Council, and DC Council on matters regarding business and LGBTQ rights.
She earned her law degree from George Washington University, during which time she worked with Equality Maryland and the Human Rights Campaign.
‘Talent is everywhere, opportunity is not’
Together, they make a formidable team.
Ross joined Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. He was then appointed as Senior Advisor for Innovation under Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.
He’s currently a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and living in Baltimore with his family.
His campaign website addresses many issues, including marijuana legalization and critminal justice reform. Regarding LGBTQ and civil rights, Ross states: ‘Until we have equal rights for all no matter race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, disability or place of origin, we cannot truly call our society just.’
If Ross and Verratti win on 6 November during the midterm elections, she will become the state’s first out lieutenant governor.
‘Obviously when you’re doing something for the very first time, it’s scary,’ she told the Washington Blade about running for office. However, she added she also ‘feels good about it’.
This year’s elections in the US are critical, because they can possibly put Democrats back in power in Congress. Plus, a lot of LGBTQ candidates are running for office this year too.