Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and his Democratic challenger Ben Jealous faced off Monday at Maryland Public Television for their only debate of the governor’s race.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and his Democratic challenger Ben Jealous faced off Monday at Maryland Public Television for their only debate of the governor’s race. It was the first time the two men had met in person.
Here are six takeaways from the encounter, which will be streamed at 7 p.m. Monday on baltimoresun.com, as well as airing on MPT, WBAL-TV and WBAL-AM:
1. Hogan and Jealous appear to live in starkly different Marylands.
To Jealous, Maryland is a place where the economy is lagging, health care costs are surging, crime is on the rise and public schools are falling behind.
Hogan, however, sees the state as experiencing “one of the greatest economic turnarounds in America.” He said it sounded like Jealous was living in a “dream world.”
Jealous wants to create a Medicare-for-all system for the state, institute debt-free college, give teachers a large raise and reduce the prison population by 30 percent.
“Folks will tell you the things I want to do are hard. And they’re right. Nothing worth doing is easy,” Jealous said.
By contrast, Jealous said Hogan has offered no plans to move Maryland forward.
Hogan repeatedly portrayed Jealous’ ideas as too expensive or, in his words, “reckless.” Of Jealous’ proposal to raise teacher pay by 29 percent, Hogan said the Democrat has “no ability to deliver” on his promise.
Hogan also took aim at Jealous’ plan to shrink the prison population by 30 percent.
“Some of your proposals are reckless but this one is downright dangerous,” Hogan said.
6. The post-debate spin has begun.
The Jealous campaign says his performance marked a “turning point” in the race (where he has trailed badly in the polls). Political observers agreed that Jealous had a stronger performance Monday than he did during debates in the Democratic primary, when he sometimes stumbled. Several called the debate with Hogan a “draw.”