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Ex-NAACP chief Ben Jealous to run for Maryland governor

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Former NAACP President Ben Jealous said on Wednesday he would seek the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor next year, charging that the Republican incumbent lacked the courage to stand up to President Donald Trump.

Jealous, an ally of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders during his 2016 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, said incumbent Larry Hogan had failed to oppose Trump policies that would weaken healthcare and education as well as environmental protection of the Chesapeake Bay.

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Jealous, making his first bid for elected office, is the latest Democrat to try to link an opponent to the Republican president. Approval ratings have sagged for Trump, who has been embroiled in controversy since his May 9 firing of FBI Director James Comey who was overseeing an investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia.

“It seems like every week our governor becomes a little more like the lion in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ all strength and no political courage,” Jealous, 44, said as he declared his candidacy outside a cousin’s flower shop in Baltimore.

Hogan, who did not endorse Trump in the 2016 election, has not said if he will seek re-election. A spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won Maryland by 26 percentage points in last November’s election.

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Jealous led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the biggest U.S. civil rights group, from 2008 to 2013. He is the second Democrat to announce his candidacy ahead of Maryland’s June 2018 primary, joining entrepreneur and author Alec Ross. Jealous, if elected, would be Maryland’s first black governor.

Jealous, who spearheaded the NAACP’s successful campaign to overturn Maryland’s death penalty in 2012, said he backed raising the minimum wage to $15 a hour from the current $8.75, improving teacher quality, expanding mass transit and improving training for police officers.

Hogan has followed a moderate agenda focused on economic growth and cutting regulations and fees. He also has banned fracking, which involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into shale to release natural gas and oil, thus aligning himself with Maryland’s heavily Democratic voter base.

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He held a 65 percent approval rating among registered voters in a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll in March, but only 41 percent backed him for a second term.

Hogan, 61, scored an upset victory in 2014 over Democratic Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Cooney)

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‘He knows I’m actually better at the internet’: Andrew Yang says Trump is too scared to attack him

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Presidential candidate Andrew Yang suggested President Donald Trump is too scared to attack him during a CNN appearance on Saturday.

Yang, whose campaign has been buoyed by his passionate online supporters known as the "Yang Gang," was interviewed by Van Jones.

"Part of the thing is that you’re such an unlikely candidate that people, they’re not shooting at you, even Donald Trump doesn’t have a bad name for you yet," Jones noted. "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?"

"Well, Donald Trump hasn’t messed with me online because he knows I’m actually better at the internet than he is," Yang replied, to cheers from the crowd.

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2020 Election

NYT wonders if Republicans challenging Trump are the ‘Three Musketeers’ or the ‘Three Stooges’

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President Donald Trump's three Republican challengers for the GOP's 2020 nomination were featured in a new 1,500-word profile by The New York Times that was published online on Saturday.

Former Gov. Mark Sanford (R-SC), former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA) are all challenging the incumbent.

"Supporters of Mr. Trump’s Republican challengers refer to them as the 'Three Musketeers,' and argue that having a trio of challengers — however long their long-shot bids are — could add up to enough of a nuisance to whittle away support for a vulnerable incumbent," the newspaper reported. "The president, on Twitter, has given them a more demeaning nickname: 'the Three Stooges.'"

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NYT columnist has identified the one man who could be an even worse president than Donald Trump

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President Donald Trump has not even been in office for three full years, yet already historians are ranking him as one of the worst American leaders of all time.

But could America do even worse?

Farhad Manjoo, a columnist for The New York Times, conducted a "thought experiment" to imagine how voters could do even worse.

"What sort of character do we have to imagine occupying the White House in 2029 to make lefties like myself feel even a slight pang of nostalgia for the good old days of Donald J. Trump?" he wondered.

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