Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous has picked up two more endorsements from progressive organizations.
Progressive Maryland, a grass-roots group with more than 100,000 members and supporters across the state, and Communications Workers of America, a labor union representing 4,500 workers in Maryland and the District, voted to support the former NAACP president's bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
"We will be backing him heavily," said Larry Stafford Jr., executive director of Progressive Maryland. "We'll hit doors and hit the pavement across the state to make sure we have a progressive to put forward in the primary."
Stafford said his board chose Jealous from the crowded field of candidates because of the candidate's progressive stances, including his plan for Medicare For All.
Other candidates competing in the June 26 primary include: Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., tech entrepreneur Alec Ross, policy consultant Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, attorney Jim Shea and Krishanti Vignarajah, a former policy director for Michelle Obama.
Baker has won endorsements from top Democratic elected officials in the state, including Attorney General Brian Frosh and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen. Jealous, who has received support from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Our Revolution and the Service Employees International Union, played down Baker's establishment support.
"As a civil rights leader, I know real change doesn't come from politicians, it comes from working people coming together and demanding that change happens," he said.
But Maryland Democrats have generally backed establishment candidates, voting for Hillary Clinton over Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary by a margin of nearly 2 to 1. In the 2014 primary, then-Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown beat progressive candidate Heather Mizeur, then a state delegate, by 30 percentage points.