In Maryland, Democrats Gansler and Mizeur find inspiration in Cantor’s loss in Virginia


Del. Heather Mizeur (Montgomery) and Attorney General Douglas Gansler wait for a Democratic gubernatorial primary debate to begin June 2. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Two Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls in Maryland are among those taking heart from the stunning upset of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R) in Virginia on Tuesday night.

Both Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur made appeals to supporters, citing the victory of an obscure professor with tea party backing in the Republican primary in Cantor’s Richmond-area district.

In a fundraising pitch Wednesday morning, Gansler’s campaign manager, Antigone Davis, referred to two polls showing Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown far ahead in the June 24 Democratic primary, including one published by The Washington Post on Tuesday.

That survey showed Brown with support of 46 percent of likely voters, followed by Gansler with 23 percent and Mizeur with 16 percent. A poll published Sunday by the Baltimore Sun showed a similar dynamic.

“I’m glad to report that they’re way off,” Davis said in her fund-raising appeal, suggesting Gansler still has a good shot at winning a race “that will go down to the wire.”

“If you don’t believe us, just ask U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor,” Davis wrote. “Two weeks ago, polls had him ahead of his opponent by anywhere from 11 to 34 points.”

Gansler made the same argument himself during a radio appearance later Wednesday morning, saying the race is still “very volatile” and “people are just learning how important this particular primary is.”

“I think people are coming around to us,” Gansler said on Baltimore’s WBAL-AM. “Hopefully we’ll win comfortably.”

Mizeur, meanwhile, was busy on Twitter on Wednesday, re-tweeting posts that drew parallels between her run to the left in the Democratic primary and Dave Brat’s run to the right of Cantor in the Republican primary.

Among them was one by Shaun Adamec, a former press secretary to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).

“Massive upset from the far wing of the party in Virginia tonight. Could @heathermizeur do it across the river in two weeks? #mdpolitics,” he wrote.

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