Md. Democratic Gubernatorial Hopefuls to Make Cases at Forum

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidates seeking to overtake Republican incumbent Larry Hogan will pitch their platforms Wednesday at Reid Temple AME Church in Glenn Dale.

Since the 90-day Maryland General Assembly adjourned April 9, several candidates have released proposals on the criminal justice reform, the environment and education.

Former NAACP President Ben Jealous released his sixth plan Wednesday which calls for more investment in the state’s cities.

One recommendation would be creation of a task force within the state’s Environment Department to regulate lead and monitor air quality in rental properties.

“There’s going to be a big uptick now [of candidate proposals],” said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College in Towson.

The college released a poll Tuesday that shows Hogan still maintains a high approval rating among Marylanders with less than seven months before the Nov. 6 general election.

Although at least 22 percent of voters polled “don’t know” who they would choose between Hogan and the Democratic candidates, the poll showed Hogan fared better than Democratic leadership on these topics:

• State budget and finances: Hogan at 55 percent; Democrats 28 percent;

• Transportation and infrastructure: Hogan at 45 percent; Democrats 36 percent;

• Economic development and job creation: Hogan at 49 percent; Democrats 35 percent;

• Taxes: Hogan at 47 percent; Democrats 35 percent; and

• Crime and criminal justice: Hogan at 48 percent; Democrat 32 percent.

The poll also shows at least 44 percent would vote for the incumbent. Jealous and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III are the closest contenders at 31 percent.

Overall, the poll highlights 69 percent approve of Hogan’s job while 21 percent disapprove.

“Gov. Hogan has spent his four years in office working to change Maryland for the better,” campaign spokesman Scott Sloofman said in a statement Wednesday. “It’s gratifying to see that, once again, the overwhelming majority of Marylanders approve of the job the governor is doing and are happy with the direction the state is going in.”

During a gubernatorial forum Tuesday in Silver Spring by the Women’s Democratic Club, state Sen. Richard Madaleno of Montgomery County attested to Hogan’s popularity.

“At the Maryland General Assembly, we’ve pushed him to govern like a Democrat,” he said in a tweet. “That’s why he’s so popular.”

The other candidates scheduled to appear at Wednesday’s forum are Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz; tech entrepreneur Alec Ross; Krish Vignarajah, former policy director for first lady Michelle Obama; Baltimore attorney Jim Shea; educator Ralph Jaffe of Baltimore County; and James Jones of Baltimore City.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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