Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to easily win re-election in the state’s gubernatorial election on Tuesday.
Polls the Washington Post and the University of Maryland, Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies and Goucher College have conducted in recent weeks show Hogan is ahead of former NAACP President Ben Jealous by double digits. Hogan also maintains a significant fundraising advantage against his Democratic opponent going into the general election.
Hogan, before his 2014 election, said marriage rights for same-sex couples and other social issues “are really decided” in Maryland.
Hogan in 2015 allowed two measures — one that enables trans Marylanders to change their name and gender on their birth certificates without having undergone sex reassignment surgery and another that ensures lesbian couples have equal access to fertility treatments — to take effect without his signature.
Hogan on Sunday retweeted a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in response to the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 people dead.
“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love…Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pic.twitter.com/R9cPl9qlOS
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) October 28, 2018
Hogan — along with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and religious leaders — was among those who spoke at a prayer vigil for the victims that took place at Adas Israel Congregation in Northwest Washington.
“No words can possibly ease the overwhelming sense of grief and sadness over such an unspeakable tragedy,” said Hogan, according to WTOP. “Our synagogues and houses of worship must never become places of fear.”
Hogan’s campaign has not responded to the Washington Blade’s multiple requests for an interview.
Jealous — whose platform includes legalizing and taxing marijuana to fund universal pre-K in Maryland and “Medicare for All” in the state — told the Blade earlier this month that Hogan is “trying his best to be the second coming of Chris Christie,” who is the Republican incumbent’s political mentor. Jealous during the interview also discussed his role in the 2012 campaign in support of Maryland’s same-sex marriage law that voters ultimately upheld in a referendum.
“Larry Hogan steadily avoided taking on the past civil rights victories and at the same time he has shown a real willingness to attack immigrant communities,” said Jealous, specifically referring to Hogan’s decision to allow three counties to enter into agreements with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and his request that the Obama administration not resettle Syrian refugees in Maryland.
Washington, Acevero look to make history
Two openly LGBT candidates are poised to make history in Maryland on Tuesday.
State Del. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City), who defeated longtime state Sen. Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore City) in June’s Democratic primary, is running unopposed. She is poised to become the first openly LGBT senator of color in the Maryland Senate.
Gabriel Acevero finished second in the Democratic primary in House District 39 in Montgomery County. He would become the first openly gay man of Afro-Latino descent elected to the General Assembly if he were to win in the general election.
“The historical significance of this race is not lost on me,” Acevero told the Blade earlier this year. “But I’m not running to make history. I’m running to make a difference.”
Evan Glass is seeking an at-large seat on the Montgomery County Council. Republican Shawn Conley is running against incumbent Howard County Registrar of Wills Byron MacFarlane.