Former NAACP President Ben Jealous won the right to face Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) in November in a significant win for national progressives hoping to steer Democrats to the left.
The Associated Press called the race for Jealous at 10:36 p.m. EDT. His major Democratic challenger was Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, seen as a more pragmatic but no less liberal contender.
In his first run for public office, Jealous cast himself as the most liberal candidate in the field, touting endorsements from national figures like Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) and boasting of 1,000 volunteers who deployed across the state in the final weekend before voters went to the polls.
Baker, on the other hand, brought a firmer political base to the table, as the chief executive of the state’s second-largest county. He earned support from local leaders like Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocrats introduce bill to rein in Trump’s power under Insurrection Act Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd Hillicon Valley: Twitter flags Trump tweet for ‘glorifying violence’ | Cruz calls for criminal investigation into Twitter over alleged sanctions violations | Senators urge FTC to investigate TikTok child privacy issues MORE (D), House Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Hoyer: House will vote soon on bill to improve ObamaCare Hoyer: Infrastructure package to hit floor this month MORE (D) and former Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
Reflecting Maryland’s two major vote centers, both front-runners chose running mates who hail from the other half of the state.
Jealous, who is from Baltimore, chose Susan Turnbull, a former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee from Montgomery County, the Washington suburb. Baker chose Elizabeth Embry, a state’s attorney who ran for mayor of Baltimore in 2016.
Jealous will face a seriously difficult fight against Hogan, one of the most popular governors in the nation, according to public surveys. A Gonzales Research and Media Services poll from earlier this month found that Hogan’s job approval stood at 75 percent, while just 17 percent said they disapproved of him.
The poll found Hogan leading Jealous 51 percent to 34 percent.
But all is not lost for the Democratic contender, especially if President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE remains deeply unpopular come November. Trump’s approval rating stands at just 37 percent in heavily-Democratic Maryland. The last time a Republican president was so unpopular, then-Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) lost his job in 2006 to his one-time underdog challenger, O’Malley.