Maryland gubernatorial hopeful Anthony G. Brown on Monday urged hundreds of Prince George’s County Democrats to send one of their own to Annapolis next year while his chief rival, Douglas F. Gansler, pledged to tackle long-standing issues affecting the jurisdiction.
Brown, the state’s lieutenant governor, and Gansler, its attorney general, were among a parade of politicians to address the Ploughman and Fisherman breakfast in Upper Marlboro, an annual fundraiser to benefit the Prince George’s County Democratic Central Committee.
“This is our house. Let’s protect it,” Brown, a former Prince George’s delegate, told the crowd gathered at Camelot by Martin’s. “Let’s send a Prince Georgian down to Annapolis to be the governor. Let’s send a Prince Georgian down to put his name on the budget. Let’s send a Prince Georgian down to put his name on the legislative priorities.”
Brown — who had a larger and more boisterous contingent of supporters at the event — also took credit for several actions during his nearly seven-year tenure with Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) that have benefited the county. Those included a commitment of funding to help build a new hospital, two changes in public school funding formulas and the upcoming move of the state’s housing agency from Anne Arundel County to Prince George’s.
“This stuff isn’t easy,” Brown said. “It doesn’t happen overnight.”
Gansler and his new running mate — Del. Jolene Ivey, the chairwoman of the Prince George’s delegation in Annapolis — argued in separate appearances that the current administration had not done enough for the state or county.
Arguing that “we’re getting our clocks cleaned” by Virginia, Gansler pledged to take more aggressive steps to create jobs, including cutting the corporate income tax rate.
He pledged to step up funding of historically black colleges and universities, and he said he would tackle the state’s persistent minority achievement gap in education in part by expanding pre-kindergarten education. Gansler also promised a focus on re-entry programs for people who have finished prison sentences.
“We need leadership that cares about Prince George’s and is actually going to do something about Prince George’s,” said Gansler, a former Montgomery County state’s attorney.
Prince George’s is expected to be a key battleground in the June Democratic primary.
As of last month, the county was home to 447,896 registered Democrats — nearly 22 percent of Democrats statewide in Maryland.
The 2014 primary also includes Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery).