Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York came to Baltimore on Friday and endorsed Ben Jealous — the latest national figure to back the Democratic candidate for governor.
Gillibrand joined Jealous at campaign events, including a round-table discussion in West Baltimore, to talk about improving entrepreneurship among women and closing the gender pay gap.
“He’s someone who will take on the powerful on behalf of regular, everyday citizens,” Gillibrand said of Jealous. “He will make sure that anybody who wants to be working full-time will have access to the training they need to get the job they need. He’s someone who is going to work for all of us.”
The senator also was in town for a fundraiser Friday evening to support her campaign this fall for re-election.
In endorsing Jealous, Gillibrand joins prominent national Democratic figures, including former Vice President Joe Biden and senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
At the event with Gillibrand, Jealous pledged to hire women to at least 50 percent of his cabinet positions — and to make his cabinet “racially representative of the state” if he’s elected.
Jealous said only 26 percent of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s cabinet positions are occupied by women and his cabinet is just 13 percent “nonwhite.”
Maryland Policy & Politics
“It is unacceptable that Maryland's government doesn't reflect the people of the state and frequently that is reflected in policies that don't account for all Marylanders,” Jealous said.
Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for the governor, said nearly half of Hogan’s appointments are women.
“The governor is proud of his record of appointing individuals to important positions across state government that are as diverse as Maryland,” Chasse said in an email. “Out of nearly 5,000 appointees, 44 percent are women and nearly 30 percent are minorities.”
“The governor’s cabinet and judicial appointees also represent a diversity of political views – nearly half are Democrats,” she added. “Will Mr. Jealous promise that half of his cabinet appointees will be Republicans? The Hogan administration is one where Marylanders of all races, genders, political beliefs, and walks of life are heard and respected.”
Also Friday, the Hogan campaign announced an endorsement from the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small business association.
“Under the Hogan administration, small business owners in Maryland have seen a significant reduction in taxes and burdensome regulations,” Tim Goodrich, executive director of NFIB’s state government relations, said in a statement.
The Hogan campaign also said it would begin hosting 26 different “Women for Hogan” events across the state, with more than 500 women participating. The first event, hosted by First Lady Yumi Hogan, was scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m. in Bethesda.