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Jealous will hold fundraiser in California the weekend before early voting begins

The weekend before early voting begins, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and his Democratic challenger Ben Jealous are embarking on much different campaign strategies.

Hogan’s campaign says the governor is doing a sweep of the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland that includes a “meet and greet” in Sharptown; a “get out the vote” rally in Wicomico; and events in Cambridge and St. Mary’s County. He will then attend a tailgate at the Ravens game in Baltimore.

Jealous’ campaign says the Democrat will be flying to San Francisco for a fundraiser to sustain his campaign through its final stretch.

“We’re hosting our last fundraiser of 2018 this coming weekend for Ben Jealous, who’s running for Governor of Maryland,” wrote Sara Fenske Bahat, a senior lecturer at California College of the Arts, in a blog post promoting the fundraiser. “I’ve heard a lot about Ben over the last year  —  you may have too. He is the former head of the NAACP (youngest ever), a Rhodes scholar, investor with Kapor Capital, native son of Baltimore.”

Bahat wrote that “aside from the national importance of putting Democrats in state houses, Maryland is important because it has a Democratic-controlled legislature, making it possible to enact a progressive agenda Day 1. Right now Ben is polling 18 points behind, which is a lot, but as we’ve seen, not insurmountable given strong messaging between now and election day.”

Jealous’ campaign spokeswoman, Jerusalem Demsas, said the Democrat has held numerous events throughout Maryland — but occasionally does fundraisers in California, where he has connections from his time as a partner with the venture capitalist firm Kapor Capital.

"Since winning the primary decisively, Ben Jealous has completed almost 200 public events in every jurisdiction across Maryland,” Demsas said. “This does not include the numerous grassroots fundraisers he has held meeting with everyday Marylanders to ask them to invest in his campaign for governor.”

She noted Hogan has a large fundraising advantage and benefits from more than $3 million in attack ads run by the Republican Governors Association against Jealous.

“While Larry Hogan's misleading attack ads have been funded by Big Pharma, Ben Jealous has refused to take money from corporate PACs and corporations resulting in 99% of his donations coming from individual,” Demsas said in an email. “On Election Day, it'll be clear that we didn't need to take money from unsavory sources in order to win. We've put money into a comprehensive voter turnout operation that will turn out over 1,000,000 Democrats committed to progressive solutions to our state's biggest problems."

Hogan campaign spokesman Scott Sloofman, however, criticized Jealous, who received more donations from California than Maryland in his last campaign finance report.

“Ben Jealous has always had more support in California than in Maryland so it’s no surprise that in the waning days of the campaign Jealous is going out west to rally his base,” Sloofman wrote in an email.

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