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Md. Early Voting Sets Record As Gubernatorial Candidates Round Out Campaigning

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Prepare for a primary campaign blitz as candidates head into the final weekend before the June 26 primary.

More than 220,000 ballots were cast during this early voting cycle and now comes the big event.

Voters must filter the noise of the six-way primary race for governor and choose one to run in the November general election against Gov. Larry Hogan.

Towson University Political Rhetoric Professor Richard Vatz tells WJZ that Democratic frontrunners Rushern Baker and Ben Jealous have overshadowed Richard Madeleno, Alec Ross, Jim Shea and Krish Vignarajah in the race.

Maryland's most recent Democratic governor, Martin O'Malley, is campaigning for Baker, whom Vatz characterizes as dull but effective. He calls Jealous charismatic.

"Ben Jealous is, as I say, a charismatic figure and charismatic figures have intensive support from their supporters. Sometimes they find it difficult to expand that support. Rushern Baker is not the charismatic candidate, but he's a very smart candidate. He knows the issues and if he gets into a debate with Larry Hogan you're likely not to have a lot of people who watch that debate, but you're likely to have a friendly exchange of points of view," Vatz said.

The question remains which candidate of the six can rally all the support they would need not only to win Tuesday but defeat Hogan in November.

Hogan is running unopposed in the Republican primary.

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