Ben Jealous Running for Governor of Maryland


Ben Jealous, the newly elected president of the NAACP, makes remarks outside the NAACP headquarters in Baltimore, Saturday, May 17, 2008. Jealous, a 35-year-old former news executive and lifelong activist, is the youngest president in the NAACP's 99-year history. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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Former NAACP president Ben Jealous announced Wednesday that he’s running for governor of Maryland as a progressive Democrat, and in doing so he repeatedly tried to link popular incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to President Donald Trump.

Jealous, who is running in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1, could be running in a crowded primary to challenge Hogan next year. Like a lot of Maryland Democrats these days, Jealous criticized Hogan for not speaking out against Trump’s policies.

“We come together today both relieved that we live in a state as prosperous and full of promise as Maryland, and yet increasingly alarmed, as it seems like every week our governor becomes a little more like the lion in the Wizard of Oz: all strength and no political courage,” Jealous said.

In a state where Trump won only 34 percent of the vote, Jealous also criticized Hogan for failing to stand up to members of the Trump administration. Hogan did not vote for Trump, and the governor criticized the president during last year’s campaign for his comments about women that were recorded in 2005. Hogan also largely avoids talking about Trump’s policies, saying he’s focused on Maryland instead of politics in the nation’s capital.

Still, Democrats in Maryland have attacked the governor for not speaking out more strongly against the president’s policies.

“Since President Trump has come into office, he has repeatedly bowed and submitted to the will of the most extreme members of the Trump administration, from president Trump himself to (Education) Secretary (Betsy) DeVos, to EPA chief (Scott) Pruitt to Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions,” Jealous said. Ben was president of the Baltimore based organization, the nation’s largest civil rights group, from 2008 to 2013.

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