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Former NAACP chief Benjamin Jealous is "actively weighing" a campaign to be Maryland's governor.Jealous said Tuesday he is in the early stages of contemplating a Democratic challenge to popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, and that he has been...

Former NAACP president Ben Jealous weighs run for Maryland governor

Former NAACP chief Benjamin Jealous is "actively weighing" a campaign to be Maryland's governor.Jealous said Tuesday he is in the early stages of contemplating a Democratic challenge to popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, and that he has been...

Former NAACP president Ben Jealous weighs run for Maryland governor

Former NAACP chief Benjamin Jealous is "actively weighing" a campaign to be Maryland's governor.

Jealous said Tuesday he is in the early stages of contemplating a Democratic challenge to popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, and that he has been recruited since the summer to enter the 2018 election.

Republican President Donald J. Trump's election prompted Jealous to take the urging more seriously, he said, though he has yet to hire a staff.

"I love our state, and we are living through a historic moment that calls on each of us to ask what more we can do," Jealous said in an interview. "I would never do it unless there was a clear path" to victory.

Democrats have yet to coalesce around a candidate to challenge Hogan, who has high approval ratings, even among Democrats. Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz are also considering the race.

Democrats have gathered here to nominate Hillary Clinton for president, but the former secretary of state isn't the only politician hoping the convention provides a bounce in support.

Between breakfast pastries and late-night receptions, at least three prominent Democrats from Maryland considering...

Democrats have gathered here to nominate Hillary Clinton for president, but the former secretary of state isn't the only politician hoping the convention provides a bounce in support.

Between breakfast pastries and late-night receptions, at least three prominent Democrats from Maryland considering...

Jealous, now 44, rose to national prominence in 2009 as the youngest president and CEO of the NAACP, and is widely credited with rejuvenating the storied civil rights organization. He also played a crucial role in helping Maryland repeal the death penalty.

He resigned from the NAACP 2013 and then joined a venture capital firm, Kapor Capital, that funds tech startups that work in social justice areas. He is a former journalist and community organizer.

He considered bids for U.S. Senate to replace Barbara Mikulski and to succeed then-Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, but decided against it.

Councilman Brandon Scott and City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young push for legislation that would make the Baltimore Police Department a city agency, allowing the city council oversight over their budget, staffing and other issues. (Yvonne Wenger/Baltimore Sun video)

Councilman Brandon Scott and City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young push for legislation that would make the Baltimore Police Department a city agency, allowing the city council oversight over their budget, staffing and other issues. (Yvonne Wenger/Baltimore Sun video)

Activists staged a protest at a Board of Public Works in Annapolis, demanding Gov. Larry Hogan speak out against some of President Donald Trump's policies. (Michael Dresser/Baltimore Sun video)

Activists staged a protest at a Board of Public Works in Annapolis, demanding Gov. Larry Hogan speak out against some of President Donald Trump's policies. (Michael Dresser/Baltimore Sun video)

Jealous said Tuesday the consideration for governor is different because he's weighing a campaign earlier in the cycle, and feels a stronger calling in light of Trump's administration.

He joined Kamenetz and Baker in Annapolis Tuesday for a news conference called to criticize a program backed by Hogan that pays for scholarships at private schools, calling it a diversion of resources from ailing public schools.

ecox@baltsun.com

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