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Former NAACP president Ben Jealous considering Senate race

Ben Jealous
Ben Jealous

WASHINGTON -- Benjamin Jealous, the former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is considering a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski -- the latest high-profile figure said to be looking at the race.

Jealous, a Silver Spring resident who stepped down from the NAACP in 2013, would join what may be a crowded field for the coveted seat. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Montgomery County Democrat, has announced he will run and most of the state's congressional delegation is also eyeing the contest.

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Jealous, who has deep family roots in Baltimore, was a controversial choice when the NAACP board, on a split vote, named him in 2008 to fill a job that previously had been held by civil rights heavyweights such as Benjamin L. Hooks. Only 35 at the time, Jealous was the first leader of the Baltimore-based organization not to have played a direct role in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s.

Yet Jealous was widely credited with broadening the NAACP's advocacy mission and improving the organization's finances.

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