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Can Ben Jealous win in Maryland and point the way forward for Democrats?: On a cloudy summer evening in the Park Heights neighborhood in West Baltimore, about 100 people mill about an elementary school yard. They are drawn by free food, raffles and the presence of community groups who have set up shop as part of National Night Out, a nationwide series of events designed to promote public safety and violence prevention.

They are not there for politics, but Ben Jealous is here anyway.

The former NAACP president turned Maryland gubernatorial candidate makes his way through the crowd, shaking hands in a city that his family has lived in for more than 80 years. His presence brings a jolt of energy to a rainy evening and his banter with residents feels less like that of a politician schmoozing voters than of old friends reuniting.

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Can Ben Jealous win in Maryland and point the way forward for Democrats?: On a cloudy summer evening in the Park Heights neighborhood in West Baltimore, about 100 people mill about an elementary school yard. They are drawn by free food, raffles and the presence of community groups who have set up shop as part of National Night Out, a nationwide series of events designed to promote public safety and violence prevention.They are not there for politics, but Ben Jealous is here anyway.The former NAACP president turned Maryland gubernatorial candidate makes his way through the crowd, shaking hands in a city that his family has lived in for more than 80 years. His presence brings a jolt of energy to a rainy evening and his banter with residents feels less like that of a politician schmoozing voters than of old friends reuniting.Can Ben Jealous win in Maryland and point the way forward for Democrats?: On a cloudy summer evening