Karmen Bailey Walker didn’t see it coming. She and Anthony Brown had exchanged pleasantries at many Maryland civic events over the years as both raised kids and built careers, she in business, he in Democratic state politics.
When she bumped into Brown again in 2009, it seemed like the usual chit-chat — a how are you doing, and “that obligatory little hug thing,” she recalled. But when she turned to walk away, he stopped her:
“Hey, I’m going to give you a call and ask you out,” he told her.
Two weeks later, the Maryland lieutenant governor and the Comcast executive had their first date. This past Sunday, they got married.
We want to hear all about the wedding, of course, but first we gotta ask — was it weird dating a lieutenant governor? Not really.
“I’m very, very easygoing,” Walker, 52, told us. “When Anthony and I are out at events, I tell him he doesn’t have to worry about me. . . It’s very easy for me to strike up conversations. And I know he has to do what he has to do.”
Brown, 50, has a slightly different take on those schmoozing situations. “They see this very beautiful woman with the lieutenant governor,” he laughed, “and they’re no longer interested in the lieutenant governor. They want to know all about her.”
Walker is a Free State native, a graduate of Friendly High School in Fort Washington, where her mother still lives. College at University of Florida, masters degree from Syracuse. At Comcast, she’s director of government and regulatory affairs (strictly local level, no ethics conflict there). In 2003, her husband, Cpl. Anthony Walker, the president of the Prince George’s County Fraternal Order of Police, died in a car accident.
Walker’s son Anthony, 12, is just a few months older than Brown’s son Jonathan, and the two are in the same grade at the same Catholic school. Brown, who split from first wife Patricia in 2008, also has a daughter, Rebecca, 17, who’ll attend the University of Maryland in the fall.
The wedding on Sunday at Memorial Chapel on the university campus in College Park, was about as small as a statewide politician can get away with — about 370 guests, including Gov. Martin O’Malley, Rep. Steny Hoyer, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. The groomsmen included Brown’s three brothers and his son; Anthony walked his mom down the aisle, and her attendants included a stepdaughter from her first marriage.
A honeymoon in Spain will wait until after the kids get out of school; then they’ll be looking for a home together in Prince George’s. And then after that — maybe working all those civic events together in a 2014 gubernatorial bid? Brown hedged: For now, he’s focused on his current job and the Obama reelection push, “and then blending a family,” he said, “so we’ve got our hands full with a couple of things.”
Also in The Reliable Source: