WASHINGTON (JTA) — A top former Jewish community official has joined the ticket of a one-time NAACP president in the latter’s bid for Maryland governor.
Susan Turnbull, who chaired the Jewish Council for Public Affairs from 2014 to 2016, would become lieutenant governor should Ben Jealous be elected. Regional newspapers reported Jealous’ pick on Wednesday. Neither has held elected office.
The pairing is seen as bringing together the Democratic Party’s establishment wing with those who support Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who ran an unsuccessful insurgent campaign from the left last year for the party’s presidential nomination. Sanders backs Jealous, and Turnbull is a former vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and a former chairwoman of Maryland’s Democratic Party.
Jealous, 44, who served as president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 2008 to 2013, must clear a crowded primary field in June to face off against popular incumbent Larry Hogan in November’s general election. Hogan is a moderate Republican who has distanced himself from President Donald Trump. Maryland trends heavily Democratic.
Turnbull, 65, of Bethesda, has a long and deep involvement in the Jewish community. From 2009 to 2013, she was the chairwoman of Jewish Woman International, and was active in that capacity and as JCPA chairwoman with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. She has also served on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Metropolitan Washington and has been involved with Hillel International.