Days after Ben Jealous won the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) made one of his latest reelection campaign stops in Gaithersburg for Summerfest.
Hogan has been reluctant to make statements attacking any of his potential Democratic opponents for the November 2018 election until now.
Jealous, who was the former president and CEO of the NAACP, won the Democratic nomination as a progressive, promising to bring a single-payer-style healthcare system to Maryland, to reform the criminal justice system and to make all four-year universities “debt free.”
Jealous’s plan to bring a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system to the state has become a focus of Hogan’s reelection campaign, which has claimed that Jealous will raises taxes on middle-class residents if elected.
Hogan’s campaign released an attack ad against Jealous, painting him as “too extreme and too risky.”
To help boost the image that Jealous is “too extreme,” Hogan has touted endorsements from Maryland Democrats, such as longtime former Delegate John Wood, Jr. (D-29) and former House of Delegates Majority Whip Bill Cox.
Maryland Comptroller and Takoma Park resident Peter Franchot (D), recently refused to endorse his party’s nominee for governor, saying he will not back any candidates for governor and that, as the state comptroller, he will have to work with whoever wins in November.
“The don’t want higher taxes, they don’t want higher fees, they don’t want pie-in-the-sky programs that sound great,” Franchot said in an interview with WYPR-FM.
For Jealous, Hogan will be a tough candidate to beat. While Hogan is a Republican in a heavily-blue state, he remains popular, according to the polls. According to a poll from Goucher College, Larry Hogan has a 69-percent approval rating among Marylanders.
But since he announced his candidacy, Jealous has said he is confident he can beat Hogan, claiming that the polling is not revealing of voters’ actual attitudes toward the direction the state is going.
“Voters in Maryland now face a clear choice. Larry Hogan’s ‘go-along-to-get-along’ politics and his policies on almost every issue stand in direct contrast to my vision for Maryland,” Jealous said after he won the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary.
While Hogan has been reluctant to back fellow Republican and President Donald J. Trump, Jealous has attacked Hogan for only symbolically opposing Trump, while doing little to resist his policies.
While Hogan did not vote for Trump and has recently ordered Maryland National Guard troops away from the U.S.-Mexican border in response to Trump’ immigration policies, for Jealous that is not enough.
“Standing up to Donald Trump means standing up not just to his outrageous words and actions, but standing up to his outrageous policies and the agents who implement them,” Jealous said.