The Washington Post

Brown, Mizeur are top choices for governor in weekend straw poll in Western Maryland

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown watches the Strathmore Children's Choir at the Strathmore Music Center earlier this month. (Photo by Rebecca D'Angelo For the Washington Post)

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) emerged as the leading choice for Maryland’s next governor in a straw poll conducted at a gathering this weekend of Democrats in the western part of the state. But the second place finish by Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery) seems to have created just as much buzz.

There were not enough people taking part — fewer than 150 — for the results to be too meaningful. But the numbers from the Western Maryland Democratic Summit provide a snapshot of the early impressions of party activists in that part of the state.

Sixty-two people voted for Brown on Saturday as their choice for the Democratic nominee for governor next year, while 37 backed Mizeur, whom many party leaders regard as a longshot.

Attorney General Douglas G. Gansler (D), who has a huge early lead in fundraising, finished third with 25 votes, followed by Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D) with 17 votes. As reported by The Post over the weekend, Ulman has been in talks with Brown about joining his ticket as the lieutenant governor candidate.

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), who has said he’s considering joining the 2014 governor’s race, finished fifth in Saturday’s straw poll with one vote.

All the hopefuls but Ruppersberger spoke at the gathering in Hagerstown. Brown and Mizeur put in more extended appearances, according to several participants. Brown will become the first to make his gubernatorial bid official with a May 10 announcement.

In a separate poll, Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery) was the top choice for the state’s next attorney general, with 70 votes. Frosh, who has the backing of much of the Democratic establishment in Annapolis, was followed by Del. C. William Frick (D-Montgomery), with 54 votes. Both appeared at the summit.

Del. Jon Cardin (D-Baltimore County) was third in the balloting for attorney general, with nine votes, followed by Del. Aisha N. Braveboy (D-Prince George’s), with four votes. Ulman received one write-in vote.

John Wagner is a political reporter covering the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.



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