In one of the more confrontational moments of the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, Baltimore lawyer Jim Shea called on former NAACP President Ben Jealous last week to explain why he hadn’t released his tax returns yet.
Shea noted that he had released his returns, two weeks after state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. became the first of the contenders in the June 26 Democratic primary to do so. Accepting Madaleno’s challenge, Jealous had agreed to follow suit but hadn’t followed through yet.
An agreement to release tax returns has become a transparency test for Democratic candidates at a time when President Donald J. Trump has reneged on his promise early in his 2016 campaign to release his returns. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan did not release his returns before he won the State House in 2014 and has announced no plans to do so this year
The Baltimore Sun asked Jealous and the other Democrats what their plans are about releasing their tax returns. Here are their responses:
Jealous: Preparing to release them before the primary, no set date.
Valerie Ervin, former Montgomery County councilwoman: No plans to release them before primary but will do so if she advances to general election.
Krish Vignarajah, former White House aide: Will release before primary, no set date.
Alec Ross: Will release before primary, but considers the issue an unwelcome distraction.
Rushern L. Baker III, Prince George’s county executive: No plans to release before primary, believes county disclosure form is sufficient. Undecided on general election.