In advance of a Md. gubernatorial forum, back and forth over whether Brown will participate


Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)
December 12, 2013

Sparks are already starting to fly in advance of a Maryland gubernatorial forum scheduled for Monday — over who plans to attend.

A news release this week said that all three major Democratic candidates and at least two Republican hopefuls would participate in the breakfast event in Bethesda, sponsored by the Committee for Montgomery, a coalition of business, labor, civic and other organizations.

A widely distributed e-mail on Thursday, however, suggested that Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) had just backed out — and that organizers weren’t happy.

“As you can imagine, we were quite surprised to hear this at the 11th hour, particularly because we have an email commitment from his staff dated November 19th,” wrote Barbara Henry, managing director of the Committee for Montgomery. “What this says about the Lt. Governor’s relationship with and commitment to Montgomery County I will leave to you to decide.”

Brown will, in fact, be at the breakfast, his campaign manager Justin Schall said in an interview shortly after Henry’s e-mail was sent.

“We are planning to attend,” Schall said. “We’ve always been planning to attend. I’m not sure what she’s talking about.”

Henry’s e-mail appears to have been sent to Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D), every member of the Montgomery County Council and every state delegate and senator who represents Montgomery in the General Assembly.

“If any of you have any influence whatsoever with Mr. Brown and his campaign, we would appreciate any influence you might bring to bear regarding a reconsideration of this decision,” Henry wrote.

Brown is a former delegate from Prince George’s County. The other two major Democratic candidates are both from Montgomery: Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur.

The Republicans planning to attend Monday’s forum are Harford County Executive David R. Craig and Del. Ronald A. George (Anne Arundel), organizers said.

Both parties have primaries in June.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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