Gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler on Friday unveiled a list of 229 current and former Democratic elected officials who have endorsed his campaign, a move meant to show fresh momentum in a primary contest now less than two months away.
Until Friday, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), the front-runner in the race, had dominated the endorsement game, having rolled out the support of more than 180 elected officials — the current governor, two sitting U.S. senators and many other top Democrats in the state among them.
The list put forward by Gansler, Maryland’s attorney general, is shorter on bold-faced names and includes more former officials than Brown has trumpeted. But it demonstrates broad support across Maryland, with endorsements coming from all 23 counties and the city of Baltimore, at a time when Gansler has been trailing Brown in the polls.
“These leaders are already working hard across the state to spread the word about our campaign to fight for the people of Maryland, to deliver affordable health care, more jobs that pay a good wage and schools that are the best in the nation for all our students, not just some of them,” Gansler said in a statement.
Some of the names on Gansler’s list had been previously announced. Among his more notable supporters: former U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn from Prince George’s County; R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., a former speaker of the House of Delegates from Kent County; former Anne Arundel County executive Janet S. Owens; and former Prince George’s state’s attorney Glenn Ivey, the husband of Gansler’s running mate, Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s).
The list also includes 13 past and present elected officials whose names had previously been included on lists of endorsements claimed by Brown.
The heaviest concentration of Gansler supporters came from Montgomery County (47), his home jurisdiction, and from Prince George’s (64), Brown’s home county. Prince George’s has an unusually large number of municipalities and, thus, elected officials.
Earlier in the campaign, Gansler was dismissive of Brown’s strategy of rolling out endorsements, saying it demonstrated he was captive to Maryland’s Democratic establishment.
The June 24 Democratic primary also includes Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery).
Following the release of Gansler’s list late Friday afternoon, Peter I. Smith, a former Anne Arundel council member, said in an interview that he should not have been included because he has not endorsed a candidate.
“I’m not sure how that happened,” Smith said.
Gansler’s campaign removed him, prompting Brown campaign manager Justin Schall to point out that Gansler had made similar mistakes previously when releasing lists of supporters.
“He should get his facts straight — people can only wonder how many of his other so-called ‘endorsements’ are fictional,” Schall said.
Later Friday night, the Gansler campaign released two additional endorsements from elected officials in Seat Pleasant, a municipality in Prince George’s.