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Campaign: Maryland candidate didn’t like anti-police tweet

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous stands outside a polling place, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous stands outside a polling place, Tuesday, June 26, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

ANNAPOLIS — The Twitter account of Ben Jealous’ campaign liked a six-month-old tweet that described corrupt police and the #BlueLivesMatter in vulgar language, but a campaign spokesman said Thursday that the Democratic candidate for Maryland governor didn’t like the tweet and it doesn’t represent his views.

Kevin Harris, Jealous’ campaign spokesman, said the campaign account removed the like from the tweet from February on Tuesday as soon as the campaign learned of it.

“The tweet was unliked on Tuesday when it was brought to our attention,” Harris wrote in an email. “Prior to that we were not aware of it. We know that Ben personally didn’t like it and that it doesn’t reflect his views. No staffer recalls liking it nor would they have done so intentionally.”

Harris said the former NAACP president values and respects law enforcement, and he noted that several members of Jealous’ family have been police officers or are currently serving.

“However, Ben’s respect for law enforcement doesn’t mean he won’t speak out against the very small number of officers who dishonor their badges by engaging in corruption or excessive force against unarmed civilians,” Harris said.

The tweet and the like by Jealous’ campaign Twitter account were first reported by The Baltimore Sun. Gov. Larry Hogan received the endorsement of the Maryland State Fraternal Order of Police earlier in the day.

Doug Mayer, a spokesman for the Republican governor, criticized what he described as “vulgar and divisive rhetoric” of the tweet.

“It’s outrageously unbecoming for a candidate for governor and an insult to the brave men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line every single day,” Mayer wrote in an email. “Ben Jealous owes the law enforcement community an apology.”