Ben Jealous to respond to Gov. Larry Hogan campaign ad, says it’s insensitive to his stutter
Posted by Ann Costantino on 9th October 2018

—– By: Ann Costantino —–

Silver Spring, Maryland – Former National NAACP leader and democratic candidate for governor, Ben Jealous, plans to respond today to a new video produced by incumbent Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s campaign which Jealous says attacks him as he has struggled to overcome a lifelong issue with stuttering.

In the video, which starts out saying “What’s Ben Jealous Running For?” three gaffes made by Jealous are highlighted.

The video most notably underscores Jealous’ most recent mistake when he said during an American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) talk that he was running for governor of Virginia, as reported by The Baltimore Post after a viral video shared by the Hogan campaign was posted and viewed by several thousand viewers.

But during the first gaffe on the video, Jealous is clearly seen struggling to find the right words.

In a press release sent this morning, the Jealous camp said he has had a “lifelong personal struggle with stuttering” and that the “stigma and bullying inhibits young people.”

The press release then points to a September 7 Washington Post article in which Jealous, while on the campaign trail,  has talked about the importance of being a visible role model for those who struggle with speech impediments.

The Jealous campaign then cites the National Stuttering Association. “The severity of stuttering varies widely among individuals. It may also vary in the same individual from day to day and depending on the speaking situation…For some individuals, fatigue, stress, and time pressure can increase their tendency to stutter…Some who stutter will also try to avoid stuttering by pausing before words, substituting words…As a result, the person may create the false impression of being hesitant, uncertain, or confused.”

Jealous will be joined at the conference by healthcare professionals, business leaders and the president of the Maryland State Education Association to “urge Hogan to stop negative campaigning” while the democratic candidate plans to release plans today “that matter to Marylanders.”

Jealous will address Hogan’s video at the 11:30am conference at the Baltimore City Democratic Coordinated Campaign Office in Baltimore.

In response to a request for comment from The Baltimore Post, Hogan’s campaign office issued a statement. “Whether it was dropping the f-bomb to a reporter, saying he is running for governor of Virginia or promising to raise taxes, Mr. Jealous can’t simply disown his words every time he gets in trouble with voters.”

The statement references an August press conference at which a Washington Post reporter asked Jealous if he identified with the term “socialist.”  Jealous responded, “Are you f—ing kidding me?”

Jealous hosted a forum on his issue with stuttering in early September, as reported in the Washington Post.  In his speech, Jealous said he was joined by a community “who struggle to get our words out and have as much to say as anybody else.”
***The writer of this article encourages respectful discourse about all candidates and elected officials***

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