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Brown says his campaign warchest now close to Gansler’s in governor race

Lt Governor Anthony Brown spoke as his running mate Ken Ulman, left, and his wife Jacqueline looked on at a pizza party that they hosted at the Brown for Governor headquarters on June 3, 2013, in Largo, Md. (Mark Gail/For The Washington Post)

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said Monday that his gubernatorial campaign has raised $1 million since April, nearly wiping out a huge early advantage enjoyed by his chief Democratic rival for next year’s nomination, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.

“It’s a totally different world now,” Justin Schall, Brown’s campaign manager, told reporters following an event in Largo at which Brown announced the $1 million figure, in addition to his hiring of Jim Messina, President Obama’s former campaign manager, as a senior adviser.

Gansler’s campaign was quick to downplay Brown’s fundraising claim, which was not accompanied by any documentation.

“Campaigns can say anything they want,” said Bill Knapp, a Gansler consultant. “We’ve raising a lot of money, and we’re continuing to do so.”

Back in January, when filings were last due to the State Board of Elections, Gansler reported having $5.2 million in the bank, while Brown showed just $1.6 million. Both men were prohibited by law from raising money during the Maryland legislative session, which ended in early April.

Since then, Brown formally announced his candidacy for governor and named a running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D), who reported $2.1 million in his bank account as of January. That money can be used to promote the Brown-Ulman ticket.

Schall said the additional $1 million that has been raised included money donated to Brown since April and to Ulman since he joined the ticket last month.

Gansler plans to formally announce his candidacy in September.

Knapp also said that the Gansler campaign was not troubled by Brown’s hiring of Messina. Knapp noted that in 2008, Gansler endorsed Obama for the Democratic nomination for president while Brown backed Hillary Clinton.

Brown “joined the effort to defeat Obama, and that’s more relevant than hiring a former operative,” Knapp said.

Brown aides have pointed out that he campaigned for Obama’s re-election last year.

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

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