Report: Former NAACP Leader Ben Jealous May Run for MD Senate Seat

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis
AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

The former chief of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Benjamin T. Jealous, is said to be considering a run for the US Senate seat in Maryland that is opening up now that Senator Barbara Mikulski has announced her retirement.

Reports say that those close to Jealous insist he is seriously eyeing a run for the seat.

If the rumors are true, Jealous, who is now a venture capitalist based in Maryland, would join at least two others looking at the seat.

In fact, one of those possible candidates has already announced his candidacy. As soon as Sen. Mikulski announced that she would not be running for re-election, six-term Congressman Chris Van Hollen immediately announced his intentions to run for the seat.

On the heels of Van Hollen’s announcement, Democrat Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced his support for Van Hollen’s run, saying he “enthusiastically” endorses him.

Reid may have spoken a bit too soon, though. Being a white male, Van Hollen is already running afoul of those in the Democrat Party who would rather see a minority take Mikulski’s seat.

Voices have already started calling for Maryland Democrat Donna Edwards to run instead of Van Hollen.

If Jealous runs for the seat, though, this will be yet another minority to oppose Van Hollen’s candidacy, setting up quite a dichotomy both for Maryland’s Democrats and Harry Reid and his overeager early endorsement.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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