NORTH BETHESDA – The eight Democratic candidates vying to replace Gov. Larry Hogan (R) got a chance on Thursday to “schmooze” with local politicians and in a limited rapid-fire format, make the case to voters that each of them should be the choice to replace a Republican governor in an election that pundits will surely see as a referendum on President Donald Trump.
The already-crowded Democratic field includes Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, former president and CEO of the NAACP Ben Jealous, State Senator Richard Madaleno, former State Department advisor and entrepreneur Alec Ross, former Michelle Obama policy director Krishanti Vignarajah, consultant Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and attorney James Shea, took to the stage in a gubernatorial forum hosted by Maryland Matters. The forum served as an opportunity for candidates to take turns teeing off on the current governor, as each tried to demonstrate why County resident should opt for someone else in 2018.
Moderator Josh Kurtz from Maryland Matters said Hogan was invited, but decline the invitation to join.