Ben Jealous secured the spot as the Democratic nominee for Governor.
After a rigorous campaign, Jealous beat the second leading contender Rushern Baker, along with Democratic candidates Jim Shea, Krish Vignarajah, Rich Madaleno, Alec Ross, Ralph Jaffe, and James Jones.
"Thank you, Maryland. I am proud to stand before you as your Democratic nominee for Governor," said Jealous.
Jealous carried the banner of the more progressive front of the Democratic Party, pursuing endorsements from local unions, the Maryland State Education Association, California Senator Kamala Harris and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, and campaigning with 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Incumbent Republican Governor Larry Hogan's campaign released a statement in response to the announcement of Jealous's nomination.
“The choice before voters could not be clearer: In Governor Hogan, they find a steady hand who has worked in a bipartisan way to move Maryland in the right direction,” said campaign manager Jim Barnett. “In Ben Jealous, they find a risky blend of ideological extremism and recklessness who would move Maryland in the opposite direction and toward the bitter partisanship and dysfunction that poisons Washington, D.C."
Maryland Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Matthews also released a statement congratulating Jealous, on his win in the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary election.
“I cannot wait to join Ben on the campaign trail this fall as we work to hold Larry Hogan accountable for his record of shortchanging Marylanders and reminding voters that from investing in our students to protecting workers and our environment, Democrats have their back.”
To a raucous crowd chanting “When I say BEN! You say JEALOUS!” Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous took the stage around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday as his party’s nominee for November’s election, a race where he will be an underdog against the well-liked Hogan.
“I’m proud to stand before you as your Democratic nominee for Governor,” Jealous said to open his remarks, thanking his contingent of Democratic supporters, his mother who introduced him, and his Primary opponents. “We are ready to pull our party together and go out there and beat Larry Hogan.”
“Today we come together from all corners of Maryland to send a message to the Republican administration in Annapolis," Jealous said, "that their time in power is coming to an end."
“We won this primary because we talked with the people about how to achieve the promise of Maryland,” Jealous said, speaking of his plans to fund education, building a fairer economy, revitalizing Baltimore, providing universal health coverage, fighting the opioid epidemic, growing clean energy economy, protecting immigrants, and building better relations between police and communities.
“Let me tell you what I have been telling voters for months – I’m not running to the Left, I’m not running to the Right, I’m running towards the people in our state,” Jealous said. “…And unlike Larry Hogan I have the vision, the plans, the experience, and unlike Larry Hogan I have the courage” to risk my political fortunes for these goals.
“I know there is skepticism that Larry Hogan can be beaten,” Jealous said. “Well we’ve got a message for those who think this race is already over. Larry Hogan will lose in November because he is not ready to run against someone who knows how to build a people powered grassroots campaign.”
Jealous went on to paint the contrast between himself and Hogan, extolling his campaign’s goals that will advance the state in a decidedly progressive direction.
“We need truly strong leadership in these times. It is not enough for Larry Hogan to symbolically oppose Donald Trump,” Jealous said. “…It’s time for us to realize the promise of Maryland.”
He spoke of his rise to leadership in the NAACP, and his ability to galvanize people around him and his mission.
“Our goal is not just to win an election,” Jealous proclaimed, “but to build a movement.”
Following his victory on Tuesday night, he held another conference on Wednesday to continue his campaign for the General Election.
WATCH HIS SPEECH BELOW: