The Republican Governors Association on Thursday began a weekslong campaign of negative television advertisements against Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous.

The ads call Jealous, the former president of the NAACP, a “big spender” and warn viewers that he will raise their taxes if elected.


“Ben Jealous is just another big spender who wants to hike taxes and take Maryland backwards,” RGA spokesman Jon Thompson said in a statement. “Jealous would raise taxes, force Maryland families to pay more, and hurt the state — just to pay for his big spending schemes.”

The RGA declined to reveal how much it was paying for the ad campaign in Maryland, but said the amount was “significant” and the ads will run “statewide” on broadcast and cable stations. Public filings with Baltimore’s WBAL-TV and WMAR-TV show the Republicans have contracted with those stations to run the ads through Aug. 8.

Ben Jealous says that if he is elected governor, he'll work to revive Baltimore's Red Light light rail project. But that may be more than anyone could deliver.

The Jealous campaign immediately hit back against the ad, calling it a “misleading, partisan attack.”

Jealous is seeking to unseat Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

“Larry Hogan should actually read our plans, because in them, he will find solutions to important priorities his administration has failed to adequately address, like college affordability, stopping healthcare premium increases and growing Maryland's economy in a way that actually increases wages for hardworking families,” Jealous campaign spokesman Kevin Harris said in a statement. “Instead of choosing an honest debate on real issues and which candidate can shape a better future for Maryland's families, Larry Hogan has instead decided to behave like a scared politician and rely on the old Republican playbook of attack politics and misleading claims about taxes. Marylanders deserve better."

Hogan was paid $175,000 last year as governor, but most of his income came from his private real estate business.