Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) accused his Republican rival Thursday night of having a “campaign conversion” about building a light-rail Purple Line through the Washington suburbs, saying Larry Hogan assured primary voters he would block the project.

“Mr. Hogan doesn’t support the Purple Line. If Mr. Hogan is elected governor, the Purple Line comes off the books,” Brown told reporters after addressing a pro-Purple Line rally at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring. “...He’s not a supporter of mass transit.”

Brown was addressing comments that Hogan has made to media outlets in recent weeks. In mid-September, the Baltimore Sun quoted Hogan as saying he would cancel the Purple Line because it was too expensive. The project is estimated to cost $2.45 billion to build and $58 million to operate annually.

The Sun reported that Logan also said he would cancel the $2.6 billion light-rail Red Line project planned for Baltimore. Hogan reportedly told the newspaper he would focus instead on building roads.

However, in an interview Wednesday on WBAL radio, Hogan said he was “not really opposed to either project” and that both are “worth considering.”

A 16-mile Purple Line would run between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County with 21 stations. It is competing for $900 million in federal construction aid, and the Maryland Transit Administration is soliciting bids for a 35-year public-private partnership that would help finance its construction.

State officials have said they hope to begin construction in 2015 and open the line to service in 2020.

“I’m not telling you who to vote for for governor,” Brown told the rally’s crowd through a Spanish interpreter. “But all I know is there’s only one guy running for governor who supports the Purple Line in this community, and I know who that is.”

The rally, which attracted about 200 people, focused on the economic impacts that a rail line would bring to communities along the route.

State and local officials gathered with community groups, neighborhood associations, labor unions and local business owners to discuss ways to preserve affordable housing along the route, support local businesses that could be hard-hit by construction, and ensure that local workers would benefit from transit construction jobs.

The rally was intended to kick off two months of negotiations between local groups and state and county officials to draft a “community compact” that would spell out ways that local residents, workers and businesses would be protected if a Purple Line is built. It was organized by the Fair Development Coalition, a group formed by the Casa de Maryland immigrant advocacy organization in Langley Park.

“Rest assured, the Purple Line is not going to just run through our neighborhoods,” Brown told the crowd to applause. “It’s going to revitalize our communities with affordable housing and community jobs right here.”

Earlier in the day, Hogan received the endorsement of the National Federation of Independent Business, a lobbying group that represents small businesses and has fought legislation locally and nationally that could burden their members, including minimum wage increases, the Affordable Care Act and mandated paid sick leave.

“As a small business owner, our candidate understands how government policy affects small businesses in Maryland,” said Phyllis Burlage, who is actively involved with NFIB’s political action committee in Maryland. “We have to elect someone who understands that small businesses are the engine that drive Maryland’s economy. We have to elect someone who understands that government policy affects everything that we do.”

Jenna Johnson contributed to this report.