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The Democratic field in Maryland's gubernatorial race has gotten crowded. But, the first to enter the contest was Alec Ross, formerly with the State Department under President Obama. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush caught up with him during a visit to the Eastern Shore and talked about the issues, incumbent Republican Governor Larry Hogan and his own Democratic party.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Tuesday is the last day Virginia voters can ask for an absentee ballot to be mailed to them.

Voters have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to request a ballot for the Nov. 7 election.

Virginia is one of only two states electing a new governor this year. Republican Ed Gillespie, Democrat Ralph Northam and Libertarian Cliff Hyra are vying to replace outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who cannot seek a second term.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Both major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor are promising to improve the state's health care system.

But Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam differ sharply on how to curb costs and increase care.

Their biggest difference is on Medicaid expansion.

Northam wants to expand the health care program for the poor to cover more low-income Virginians, with the federal government picking up most of the cost.

Gillespie opposes Medicaid expansion, saying its long-term price tag will be unsustainable.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former President Barack Obama is bemoaning the rise of racial politics.

Speaking at political rallies in New Jersey and Virginia, Obama said past prejudices the country thought it had "put to bed" have reemerged.

The first black president offered himself as proof that the country has moved forward, telling the crowd in Richmond, Virginia - the former Capitol of the Confederacy - that he is a distant relative to Confederate President Jefferson Davis on his mother's side.

"Think about that," Obama said. "I'll bet he's spinning in his grave."

creative commons

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The two major party candidates in Virginia's race for governor sharply disagree when it comes to guns.

Republican Ed Gillespie has an A rating from the National Rifle Association and pledged to "oppose any and all attempts to weaken the Second Amendment."

Democrat Ralph Northam said he favors stricter controls on gun ownership. He's backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group as well as by former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was grievously wounded in a 2011 shooting.

creative commons

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former President Barack Obama is returning to the campaign trail to stump for Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia as they gear up for next month's elections.
Obama will first drop in on campaign workers in Newark, New Jersey, on Thursday for a private "canvass kickoff" for Democratic candidate Phil Murphy. He will then head to Richmond, Virginia, to rally support for Democrat Ralph Northam.
Murphy is leading in polls against New Jersey's Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in the race to replace Gov. Chris Christie.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is endorsing former NAACP president Ben Jealous for governor of Maryland.

The New Jersey Democrat endorsed Jealous on Tuesday. Jealous is seeking the Democratic nomination in a crowded primary to challenge Republican Gov. Larry Hogan next year.

Booker is scheduled to attend a campaign meet and greet on Thursday in Prince George's County.

Jealous' campaign is highlighting the announcement as the latest from progressive individuals or groups. Jealous also has been endorsed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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BALTIMORE (AP)- Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a policy consultant and wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings, says she'll seek the Democratic nomination for governor in Maryland.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is seeking a second term in next year's election.

Rockeymoore Cummings says she's concerned about economic inequality in the state.

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ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - The lieutenant governor's race in Virginia features a Republican who is doing everything she can to differentiate herself from the rest of the party. Her opponent says she can't run away from her conservative record.

Democrat Justin Fairfax, a former federal prosecutor, and Republican Jill Vogel, a state senator from Fauquier County, are running for lieutenant governor in next month's election. The post offers few formal duties other than breaking ties in the state Senate. But it invariably serves as a launching post for future gubernatorial runs.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Republican-controlled legislative commission has asked for a broad study of the office of Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring.

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission approved a resolution Tuesday asking staff to do the study. The move comes a month before Herring faces a challenge from Republican John Adams in the election.

The study would include how the office spends proceeds from asset forfeiture and an examination of salary increases.

Herring's spokesman called it an "obvious political stunt."

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