Ben Jealous to oppose Gov. Hogan on 2018 November ballot
Maryland residents have narrowed down the choice for who will be the state's gubernatorial candidates, in the November 2018 election. Ben Jealous won the Democratic nomination and will face off against Republican incumbent Larry Hogan.
Jealous received almost 40 percent of the Democratic vote, as he was up against eight other candidates for the nomination. The other candidates competing for the Democratic nomination were Rushern Baker, Ralph Jaffe, James Jones, Rich Madaleno, Alec Ross, Jim Shea, and Kris Vignarajah.
Shawn Quin is running as the Libertarian candidate and Ian Schlakman is running as the Green Party candidate. But those two people will only be on the ballot in November.
Jealous beat Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker in the crowded primary. In November, Jealous faces Gov. Larry Hogan, who hopes to become the first GOP governor re-elected in Maryland since 1954. Hogan was unchallenged for his party's nomination.
"Today we have come together, from all corners of Maryland, to send a message to the Republican Administration in Annapolis — that their time in power is coming to an end," Jealous said.
Hogan campaign manager Jim Barnett said Maryland voters will have a clear choice in November, describing the governor as "a steady hand who has worked in a bipartisan way."
"In Ben Jealous, they find a risky blend of ideological extremism and recklessness who would move Maryland in the opposite direction and toward the bitter partisanship and dysfunction that poisons Washington," Barnett said.
Dan Lessard, a human resources manager of Kingstown, Maryland, voted for Jealous and said he brings youth and diversity to the campaign: "I like the fact that he was head of the NAACP," the 56-year-old added.
Thomas Vail of Easton and his wife, Wanda, both voted for Jealous but didn't rule out voting for Hogan in November.
"Hogan has stood up to the present administration in Washington," said Vail, 68, who retired from the aviation industry. "He has an independent streak."
Jealous supports tuition-free college educations and expanding Medicare to all. He advocates raising teacher pay by 29 percent and funding full-day, universal pre-kindergarten with tax revenue from his proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
Jealous won support from leading liberals on the national stage, including Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who rallied with him in Silver Spring. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California also endorsed him. Comedian Dave Chappelle and Ben Cohen, a co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, made stops in Maryland to appear with him.
In 2008 at age 35, Jealous became the youngest person elected to lead the Baltimore-based NAACP, the nation's oldest civil rights organization. After five years at the helm, Jealous was credited with improving its finances and donor base.
Jealous campaigned on plans to reduce the prison population to save money. One proposal includes ending cash bail.
Hogan is popular in the state, where Democrats control many other elected offices. He has kept President Donald Trump at arm's length, not attending the Republican presidential convention in 2016 and writing in his father's name in presidential voting that year. More recently, Hogan responded to the immigrant family separation crisis on the U.S. border with Mexico by ordering home Maryland's four National Guard members deployed to the Southwest.
Jealous ran in a diverse primary that included nine candidates, including two all-female tickets. While crowded, the primary, for the most part, was a quiet one with the candidates agreeing on many issues and focusing criticism on the governor. However, the sudden death of one candidate, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, shook up the race in May.
For a complete list of the 2018 Gubernatorial Primary Election results for Governor and Lt. Governor: click here.
Associated Press Writers Randall Chase in Easton, Maryland, Matt Barakat in Hyattsville, Maryland, and David McFadden, in Baltimore contributed to this report.