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Brown picks up backing from Democratic leaders of three largest Md. counties

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, greets a voter on primary day in June. (Photo by Al Drago/Baltimore Sun)

OCEAN CITY, Md. -- Maryland Democratic gubernatorial nominee Anthony G. Brown on Friday picked up endorsements from the leaders of the state’s three largest counties — all fellow Democrats who had held out offering their support during the party’s competitive primary.

At a news conference here, Brown was backed by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and Baltimore County Executive Kevin B. Kamenetz.

All three offered full-throated support of Brown, suggesting he provides a sharp contrast with the Republican nominee, Anne Arundel County businessman Larry Hogan.

Both Brown and Hogan campaigned Friday in Ocean City, the site of the annual summer conference of the Maryland Association of Counties.

In remarks at his event, Brown picked up on the theme of voters having “a real choice” in the November election, suggesting Hogan would turn the clock back on many Democratic initiatives of recent years, including a sweeping gun-control bill.

“Assault weapons will be back on the streets,” Brown warned. “Cop-killing bullets will be back on the street.”

Hogan, who is campaigning largely on economic issues, has said repeatedly that he will not ask the heavily Democratic legislature to repeal the gun law or to overturn laws on several high-profile social issues, such as same-sex marriage, which he says have already been decided.

During the Democratic primary, Leggett, Baker and Kamenetz all stayed neutral.

In an interview Friday, Baker said he felt the party had “two really good choices,” referring to Brown, a former Prince George’s delegate, and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who finished second. The race also included Del. Heather R. Mizeur (Montgomery), who finished closely behind Gansler, a former Montgomery County state’s attorney.

Baker said he had a long-standing relationship with Brown as well as with Del. Jolene Ivey (D-Prince George’s), who was Gansler’s running mate, and said he “felt we should give voters a chance to decide.”

Baker pledged to work hard to bolster turnout in November for Brown in Prince George’s, which is home to more registered Democrats than any other Maryland county.

“We’re the bedrock of Democratic votes in the state, so turnout is going to be very important,” Baker said.

Brown’s event on Friday also served as an announcement of a “day of action” on Saturday, with plans for 400 Brown volunteers to knock on doors and make phone calls in support of the Democratic nominee.

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



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