Hogan Seeking Second Term in Maryland Governor’s Race

Sam Opuni, News Editor

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On Tuesday, November 6, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will face off against Democratic challenger Ben Jealous in a re-election battle for governor of Maryland. Hogan, a republican, enters the final weeks of this run for a second term as governor with a sixty-nine percent approval rating according to The Washington Post, which also endorsed Hogan on October 10th, and has managed to be a popular governor in a largely democratic state.

Hogan has a large lead in the polls and, according to The Baltimore Sun, a nineteen million dollar advantage in campaign finances. Hogan holds classic conservative views on government intervention in the economy and limited government spending, while his opponent, Jealous, a former NAACP leader, is more in the mold of Bernie Sanders who focuses on populist left policy such as universal healthcare.
Hogan, a Maryland native, is attempting to be the first Republican re-elected governor in Maryland’s history Local political pundits feel that his popularity within his own party and his ability to satisfy democrats puts him in a positive position for re-election.

Hogan became governor in 2014 after defeating Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. This win surprised the state as Brown was thought to be a strong candidate after serving with popular democrat Martin O’Malley for two terms. According to the Maryland Governor’s state website, prior to becoming governor, “…Hogan worked in the private sector for more than 25 years as a successful Maryland entrepreneur and small business owner.” Additionally, Hogan “…founded Change Maryland, a grassroots organization focused on lowering taxes and served as Secretary of Appointments for Maryland’s 60th governor Bob Ehrlich.”

Hogan has been a pro-business governor in his term. One of the most public pro-business moves during his tenure, according to NPR’s Martin Austermuhle, is Hogan’s Executive Order that required all public schools to start after Labor Day in order to allow businesses in Ocean City to have a longer season and get more revenue during an extended summer break.

While he is a Republican, Hogan has been quick to distance himself from the Trump White House and, pundits say, is a complete opposite in temperament to the president. Overall, Hogan is more of a moderate than many Republicans governors and his traditional conservative approach means limited government involvement in many areas such as taxation and spending.

One reason Hogan has been successful and is popular is a perceived bipartisan approach. Erin Cox of the Baltimore Sun reported in June that “Hogan has demonstrated significant cross-party appeal, according to recent polls. In a Baltimore Sun-University of Baltimore poll released this week, about a quarter of Democrats said they planned to vote for him in the fall. Sixty percent of Democrats approved of the job he was doing.”

Jealous has placed his hope on a far left stance that mirrors the current Democratic-Socialist wave in the Democratic Party that include the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Julia Salazar. According to The Washington Post’s Ovetta Wiggins, “Jealous, the child of an interracial couple who left Maryland for California because they couldn’t be married in their home state, is seeking support from two distinct groups: white liberals who backed Sanders in the 2016 presidential race and African American voters who largely stayed home in 2014 because they were less than inspired by Anthony G. Brown, that year’s Democratic gubernatorial nominee.”

According to the Jealous Campaign website, Jealous has been called “one of the nation’s most prominent civil rights leaders.” During his time at the NAACP, Jealous worked to address mass incarceration, lack of public funding for education in several states, and revamped what was a fading organization. Jealous, like Hogan before he became governor, has never held elected office, but has worked in the community for years and has received several honors for his work including being named Marylander of the Year in 2013 by the Baltimore Sun.

Jealous, a California native, who grew up spending considerable time in Maryland, attended Columbia before accepting a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University according to the Politico’s Zach Stanton. He is running on a platform that is far left of Hogan reports his campaign website. Some other key pieces of Jealous’ platform is that he supports the legalization and taxation of marijuana, Medicare for all, free college tuition, and a fifteen dollar an hour minimum wage. Jealous has been endorsed by Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Corey Booker and labor groups such as National Nurses United and the American Postal Workers Union.

The two men share very different views about the current path of Maryland. Hogan, to no one’s surprise, sees only optimism, while Jealous sees a state that is falling behind. Though severely outgunned in both the polls and campaign donations, it will be interesting to see how Jealous mounts his attack against such a popular governor in the election’s final weeks.

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Hogan Seeking Second Term in Maryland Governor’s Race