Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown spoke as his running mate Ken Ulman, left, looked on in June.(Photo by Mark Gail/For The Washington Post)

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) on Tuesday announced endorsements of his gubernatorial bid by three local affiliates of the United Food and Commercial Workers union that collectively claim several thousand members in the state.

The latest union backing came on the eve of Maryland’s legislative session, in which legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage has been touted as a priority by all three major Democratic candidates for governor.

Leaders of Landover-based Local 400, Baltimore-based Local 27 and Gaithersburg-based Local 1994 cited Brown’s advocacy on the issue as a factor in their endorsements.

“Anthony is leading the charge to increase Maryland’s minimum wage, and he’s stood up for vital collective bargaining rights for Maryland workers,” said Mark Federici, president of UFCW Local 400. “He’s been a friend to us for nearly 15 years, and we know that we can count on him to continue strengthening Maryland’s middle class as governor.”

Brown faces Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (Montgomery) in the June Democratic primary.

In the early stages of the race, Brown has dominated the endorsement process, winning the backing of far more Democratic officials and liberal interest groups than his rivals.