Democrat Anthony G. Brown and Republican Larry Hogan are scheduled to square off next month in Ocean City in their first candidates forum since becoming the major-party nominees in Maryland’s race for governor.
The Aug. 16 event is being hosted by the Maryland Association of Counties as part of its annual summer conference.
The campaigns of both Brown, the state’s lieutenant governor, and Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman, have confirmed their intentions to participate. Jeff Salkin of Maryland Public Television has agreed to moderate, according to organizers.
Michael Sanderson, the county organization’s executive director, said that as a result of negotiations with the campaigns, Brown and Hogan will likely appear back-to-back at the forum and not share the stage.
“This doesn’t look like it’s going to have the flavor of a debate or a back-and-forth affair,” Sanderson said.
Questions will include several of particular interest to the hundreds of county leaders planning to attend the conference, he said.
In the aftermath of the June 24 primaries, the Brown and Hogan campaigns have yet to see eye-to-eye on more formal debates. Brown has proposed a series of encounters, naming his preferred media hosts. Hogan has instead been touting invitations he has accepted from organizations that have offered to host debates.
The forum in Ocean City is scheduled for a slot at the annual conference usually reserved for an address from the governor. This year, however, outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), does not plan to deliver the speech.
O’Malley, who is weighing a 2016 White House bid, is scheduled to appear at a Democratic party dinner in Mississippi the night before. He will also be attending a conference of the Southern Governors’ Association in Arkansas that weekend, according to aides.