By Hamil R. Harris, Special to the AFRO

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous was surrounded by many of the party’s top lawmakers last week as he passionately preached that it is he, and not Republican Governor Larry Hogan, who is Maryland’s best hope for the future.

Senate President Mike Miller, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and many elected officials came to the Prince George’s Education Association for the Democratic “Unity Rally,” all part of an effort to shore up the party’s base at a time when some top Democrats are supporting Hogan’s re-election bid.

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Ben Jealous. (Courtesy Photo)

“We had incredible leaders in the house from County Executive Baker to Aisha Braveboy to Senate President Mike Miller all united to do what it takes to turn out every like minded Democrat, like minded independent and Republican that is ready for real leadership,” Jealous told the AFRO. “We want to make sure that our families get good deal on health care and make sure our children get a good deal on education.”

While some Democratic lawmakers are supporting Hogan, Miller told the AFRO that he is all in.

“We are going to be energized honestly and truly,” said Miller, adding that he and Jealous have worked together for a number of years. “I worked with him to pass the DREAM Act, I worked with him so that the Senate would bring forth the repeal the death penalty. Because of him I got a freedom fighter award from the NAACP.”

Kathleen Mathews, chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party, said she wasn’t worried that some veteran Democrats were crossing over to support Hogan saying, “They are having a senior moment.”

“Rushern ran a hard fought campaign and you saw him tonight for Ben Jealous Mike Miller supported Baker but you saw him here for Jealous,” Mathews said.

In an interview after the event, Jealous had a special message for Democrats who support the Hogan on the grounds that he is “not that bad” as governor. “When is not bad good enough?   We have an opportunity to be great,” Jealous said.” We moved here, we stayed here because we know that our state can be great. Let’s be great and that is the focus of our campaign.”