Jerry Segal says he had grown tired of seeing other election races attracting more attention than his U.S. Senate contest.
So Segal, a mostly self-funded candidate in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, sought to attach himself to Maryland’s gubernatorial race, which is getting far more media coverage.
Segal’s campaign said Friday that it bought some $200,000 worth of ads on cable TV, in The Baltimore Sun and in Washington Post, and on digital billboards, touting the gubernatorial candidacy of fellow Democrat Ben Jealous — and also Segal.
The ads tout “Ben & Jerry,” a reference to the famous ice cream makers. “A new governor and a new senator,” says one that features images of ice cream containers.
“I actually spoke to Ben months ago and just joked we could run as Ben and Jerry,” said Segal, 74, a self-described peace activist from Montgomery County who is challenging incumbent Ben Cardin. “He laughed. But nothing happened.”
Segal said he didn’t ask permission of the Jealous campaign to include the fellow Democrat’s name in the ads.
The Jealous campaign “was never asked, nor would we have approved of Ben Jealous' name being used in this way,” said Kevin Harris, a Jealous campaign spokesman. “Voters should know that we do not approve and have no plans to endorse."
But Segal said he bought the ads to promote himself and because he and Jealous are both progressives and were supporters of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential candidacy.
“I may put him over the top,” Segal said.