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Maryland governor's race: Four things to watch in only scheduled debate

Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic challenger Ben Jealous meet Monday for their only scheduled debate, on Maryland Public Television. A panel of four journalists from around the state will question the candidates for an hour.

The debate is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, and will air at 7 p.m. on Maryland Public Television.

Here’s what to look for:

Handling heroin: Viewers should look for how Hogan handles questions about the opioid overdose crisis. Although the governor attacked the previous administration’s record on the issue, he has shown a testiness at being questioned about Maryland’s soaring death rate. Look for Jealous to try to get a rise out of him.

Love from labor: When Jealous invokes support from teachers unions, look for Hogan to counter with all the labor support he has garnered. It hasn’t just come from conservative-leaning unions such as those representing police, firefighters and the building trades. It’s also from unions such as the Laborers’ International Union of North America that traditionally back Democrats.

Sizzling style: Nobody who saw Hogan debate Democratic nominee Anthony Brown in 2014 will expect him to hang back and just defend his record. His technique is to attack aggressively and go for what he sees as his opponent’s weak spots. Viewers are more likely to see Fightin’ Larry than Good Neighbor Larry.

Touchstones: Viewers might want to count the number of times Hogan uses the phrase “common sense.” It’s his favorite description of himself and his policies. From Jealous, viewers can expect to hear a lot of stories about his family – especially his 101-year-old grandmother. You’re also likely to hear that he’s a venture capitalist and a Democrat in the mold of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he tries to counter a Republican narrative that he’s a closet socialist.

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