Democrats vying for Maryland governor set for TV debates beginning Monday

The Maryland Democratic Party announced on Thursday that the nine candidates vying to win the June 26 primary election for governor have agreed to four televised debates, a schedule set to begin Monday.

“This is a dynamic and accomplished field of candidates, and we are proud that Maryland’s energized voters will have an opportunity to hear from all of them,” Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews said in a statement.

The candidates include: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin, former NAACP president Ben Jealous, attorney Jim Shea, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., entrepreneur Alec Ross, former Michelle Obama policy aide Krish Vignarajah, James Jones and Ralph Jaffe.

The first debate is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. and is to be hosted by Maryland Public Television, WBAL-TV, WBAL-AM and the League of Women Voters. Candidates will deliver 90-second openings before being questioned by a panel of reporters.

The second faceoff is scheduled for May 30 and is to be hosted by FOX 45-Baltimore and ABC 7-DC. No time has been set. Candidates will deliver 60-second openings before reporters from the stations pepper them with questions.

The third debate, which follows the same format as the first, is scheduled for June 13 at 8 p.m. and is to be hosted by ABC 2 in Baltimore. The event will be held a day before early voting starts in Maryland.

And the fourth match-up is scheduled for June 17 at 11:30 a.m. and is sponsored by NBC 4 in Washington. Reporters from the station and from Telemundo 44 will ask questions after candidates deliver one-minute openings.

In addition to those events featuring all nine candidates listed on the ballot, the major candidates are expected to appear at a June 5 debate sponsored by The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore and televised on WJZ-TV Channel 13.

The winner of the Democratic primary will go on to challenge Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, who does not face an opponent in the GOP primary election.

ddonovan@baltsun.com

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