The case for Ben Jealous

The race for Maryland governor is between Democrat Ben Jealous and Republican incumbent Larry Hogan. Jealous has been fighting an uphill battle in this race because Hogan is perceived as a moderate, even though he has done little to deserve that label.

Hogan’s stewardship of Maryland is characterized by a rigid adherence to the status quo. But the status quo is never good enough when we’re talking about our healthcare, our children’s education, our jobs, our environment and our civil rights. The status quo does not remove barriers to ensuring equal pay for equal work or enhancing diversity and inclusion.

Jealous wants to address these issues head on and improve our state, and that’s why Indivisible Montgomery has endorsed him.

The next governor of Maryland will shape our state for more than a decade. The governor’s policy priorities will affect our economy, our health care, our environment, our state’s education and so much more. The next governor will appoint five new judges to serve on Maryland’s highest court, and the governor will also have a hand in redistricting after the 2020 census. So would we rather our state’s priorities, judiciary and congressional districts be shaped by Republican Larry Hogan or Democrat Ben Jealous?

During Hogan’s four years in office, Maryland’s national ranking in education has slipped several spots, wage growth has stagnated, and health care costs have increased. Hogan also refused to resettle Syrian refuges in Maryland, demonized immigrants, cancelled or slowed critical public transit projects, and failed to provide the funds necessary to keep Baltimore schools functional. Larry Hogan’s Maryland is a picture of a stagnant state–one where the status quo is maintained while we get passed by other states looking to innovate and improve the livelihood of their people.

Furthermore, Hogan’s mantle as a moderate is a facade. In addition to his right-wing policies, Hogan’s campaign is funded by the Koch brothers and he is close friends with Mike Pence. Hogan also campaigned for Ed Gillespie in Virginia last year, calling him a “great leader” even after Gillespie made blatantly racist attacks on immigrants. That’s not the picture of a moderate Republican.

Maryland is one of the bluest states in the country, and we need a governor who leads the way in improving the lives of our citizens. We should be providing quality education to our citizens from pre-K through college, recruiting and retaining quality businesses and job opportunities, and establishing programs that make our state more equitable and inclusive.

This is exactly what Ben Jealous wants to do–his many programs and plans will reestablish Maryland as a national progressive leader. These plans are not new–they have been well vetted, and, where implemented, met with success. The only thing keeping Maryland from making these great improvements to our state is that Ben Jealous isn’t governor yet.

Doing nothing is a choice and an admission that we are satisfied with the status quo. Are we satisfied with not providing a world class education to all of the children of our state? Are we satisfied with choosing to bankrupt Marylanders because they can’t afford health insurance? Are we satisfied with avoiding fixing Maryland’s critical problems or seizing incredible opportunities?

We aren’t satisfied. Ben isn’t, either.

Ben Jealous has clear, pragmatic plans on how to improve Maryland for us, our families and our communities. He will make sure that Maryland’s judiciary system is not overrun with right-wing judges. And he will work to ensure that all Marylanders are faithfully represented in Congress.

We ask you to give Ben Jealous the chance to steer Maryland in a bold, new direction and to make Maryland the progressive leader we should be.

Please vote for Ben Jealous on Nov. 6.

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