Former NAACP president and current community organizer Ben Jealous is running for Maryland governor and early on received an enthusiastic endorsement from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Since then, he’s won the endorsements of Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and now of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).  Both of whom are positioning themselves for a 2020 presidential bid.

As a former board member of the Bernie campaign’s latest incarnation, Our Revolution, Jealous’ campaign site reads like the wishlist of the self-avowed socialist Sanders.

Last year, the two joined forces to push Sanders’ grossly expensive, unworkable “Medicaid for all” scheme, and Jealous, a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter, wrote up a plan to “address police violence in black communities.”  The plan is posted at the Sanders Institute website.

Given Jealous’ support for Sanders in 2016, it’s unsurprising that he’s not been as eagerly embraced by establishment Democrats as he has been by progressives like Harris.

The Washington Post reports:

Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous has received an endorsement from Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), adding to the list of nationally-known progressives who are backing his bid for governor.

“Ben is a champion of working people,” Harris said in statement. “Everyday we see the damage being done to our country by this administration and we need leaders in our states like Ben, who have shown the political courage our families need right now.”

Harris plans to rally for the Jealous campaign, a spokesman for the campaign said.

The former NAACP president has received a steady flow of endorsements from progressive groups and national progressive leaders.

Harris, who has become a leading voice on immigration reform and a rising star in the Democratic Party, joins U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) in backing Jealous’s bid in the crowded primary.

He has also received backing from key progressive groups in the state, including Progressive Maryland, the Service Employees International Union and Maryland Working Families. Jealous has been slow to receive the same type of support from the Democratic establishment.

Jealous stepped down as NAACP president in 2013.  At that time, Mandy wrote about how racially polarizing Jealous was in that role, including the passage of an NAACP resolution that deemed the Tea Party “racist.”

Jealous came under fire in early 2013 for stating (quite rightly) that black people were “worse off” under Obama; he resigned from the NAACP later that year.

Jealous is running against a slew of Democrats in the primary, and Rushern L. Baker III was in the lead as of March 1st with 26% to Jealous’ 14%.  Michelle Obama’s former policy director, Krishanti Vignarajah, is polling at 3%.

Maryland Matters reports:

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III remains ahead in a swollen pack of Democratic candidates for governor, finding support among more than a quarter of likely voters in the June primary election, a new poll shows.

Baker, who has emerged as the front-runner in other early polling, is favored by 26 percent of voters statewide, trailed by Baltimore County Kevin B. Kamenetz with 15 percent and Benjamin T. Jealous, the former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who resides in Anne Arundel County, with 14 percent, the poll shows.

Five other Democratic hopefuls saw only single-digit support, with 32 percent of likely voters still undecided, the statewide survey by Washington-based Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy Inc. shows.

. . . .  Results for the remaining five candidates were: state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. of Montgomery County is favored by 4 percent of voters; James L. “Jim” Shea of Baltimore County and Krishanti Vignarajah of Montgomery County, each with 3 percent; Alexander J. “Alec” Ross III of Baltimore City with 2 percent; and Ralph W. Jaffe of Baltimore County with 1 percent.

The Democrat primaries for Maryland governor will be held on June 26, 2018, the gubernatorial election on November 6, 2018.

With a double-digit lead over any Democrat challenger, Republican governor Larry Hogan is the current favorite to win in November.