Brown says Gansler should apologize ‘maybe to the Maryland voters’

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown as he kicked off his campaign for governor in May. (Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post)

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Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said Wednesday that Douglas F. Gansler, his chief rival for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, owes an apology “maybe to the Maryland voters” for disparaging remarks about Brown’s candidacy.

In secretly recorded comments published Monday by The Washington Post, Gansler, the state’s current attorney general, told volunteers attending a mid-July meeting in Annapolis that Brown has few accomplishments and is relying on his race to win the 2014 primary.

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“I mean, right now his campaign slogan is, ‘Vote for me, I want to be the first African American governor of Maryland,’” Gansler said of Brown, according to the recording. “That’s a laudable goal, but you need a second sentence: ‘Because here’s what I’ve done, and here’s why I’ve done it.’”

Appearing at an event in Salisbury on Wednesday morning, Brown spoke directly to reporters about the episode for the first time. Asked why Gansler should apologize, Brown provided limited elaboration.

“Marylanders want leaders who don’t necessarily have the answers to all of the problems but are willing to bring people together in search of the solution,” he said. “So what they deserve on this campaign is a robust conversation around not just record and results, but a vision for what a better Maryland looks like.”

On Tuesday, Brown’s campaign manager called on Gansler to apologize, saying his remarks were belittling to Brown, a Harvard-educated lawyer who served in Iraq as an Army Reservist.

Appearing at a separate event in Salisbury on Wednesday afternoon, Gansler expressed bewilderment when told by a reporter of Brown’s suggestion he apologize to voters.

“What would I apologize to the voters for?” Gansler said. “Nobody says I said anything inappropriate [or] inaccurate.”

Gansler also took issue with the Brown campaign’s contention on Tuesday that he had injected the issue of race into the governor’s contest.

Gansler said he made his comment in a private meeting, and he had told his supporters that race should not be a factor in the election.

Brown was in Salisbury to address a celebration of a green-building certification of the corporate headquarters of Perdue Farms.

The company’s renovated headquarters became the first on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to receive platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Also in attendance were Harford County Executive David R. Craig (R), a Republican gubernatorial candidate, and Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio (R-Talbot), his running mate.

Gansler was in Salisbury on Wednesday afternoon for the latest in a series of events in which he is discussing policy ideas. The topic at the meeting was expanding use of chicken waste as an alternative source of energy.

 
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