Political Notes: Booker Stumps for Jealous, Hogan Communications Chief Moves to Campaign

By Josh Kurtz

New Jersey Sen. Cory A. Booker (D), who has already endorsed former NAACP president Benjamin T. Jealous in the Maryland gubernatorial election, will be joining Jealous Wednesday evening for a rally on criminal justice issues at 7 p.m. at Busboys & Poets in Hyattsville.

The rally comes as Jealous has released a multi-point plan to reform the state’s criminal justice system.

Booker

U.S. Sen. Cory A. Booker

The highlights include reducing the state’s prison population by 30 percent – which, Jealous says, would save taxpayers up to $600 million — ending cash bail, creating a governor’s office focused on helping returning citizens integrate back into society after incarceration, and legalizing marijuana.

The plan also includes expanded investments in programs like Safe Streets and the Capital Area Violence Intervention Program, as well as the establishment of gun courts around the state.

“To achieve a safer Maryland we must begin to bring an end to this era of mass incarceration,” Jealous said in a statement. “This means prioritizing the apprehension of violent repeat offenders, diverting those incarcerated non-violent offenders into more effective rehabilitation programs, and ensuring resources are in place to support those who were formerly incarcerated as they seek to re-enter society.  The data could not be more clear – we cannot incarcerate our way out of a crime problem.”

Changes in Governor’s Team

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) announced Tuesday that his communications director, Douglass V. Mayer, is moving over to his reelection campaign, where he’ll serve as deputy campaign manager to Jim Barnett, the campaign’s leader.

In the State House, Mayer will be replaced by his deputy, Amelia Chassé.

“From the very beginning, Doug has been a tireless advocate for Maryland and this administration – I cannot thank him enough for his service,” Hogan said in a statement. “I know that his leadership, instincts, and well-known tenacity will continue to prove invaluable for our organization. Amelia’s work as deputy director of communications has been nothing short of outstanding, and her positive impact on our administration has been felt since day one.”

Chassé begins her new gig on Wednesday. Mayer moves to the campaign on Monday after a few days off.

Both communications pros have held similar roles with other Republican governors. Chassé was press secretary to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Mayer was communications director to Nikki Haley, the current U.S. ambassador to the U.N., when she was governor of South Carolina.

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