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Brown to unveil Ulman as Maryland gubernatorial running mate Monday

Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown speaks to supporters as he kicks off his campaign for governor at Prince George's Community College on May 10. (Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, who announced his 2014 gubernatorial bid this month, plans to name Howard County Executive Ken Ulman as his running mate Monday, according to several people familiar with the plans.

The rollout of a lieutenant governor candidate will be in keeping with Brown’s efforts to seize the early momentum in a competitive race to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). To this point, Brown (D) is the only major candidate to formally announce his bid, much less fill out his ticket.

Brown’s campaign manager, Justin Schall, confirmed Wednesday that Brown will announce a running mate Monday and said Brown has two other events planned later in the day, including one in his home county of Prince George’s.

Brown and Ulman (D) had been in discussions for weeks about forming a ticket. Before that, Ulman had been exploring his own bid to seek their party’s nomination for governor in June 2014.

Through a spokesman, Ulman declined to comment Wednesday. People who confirmed the announcement of the ticket spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans more freely.

Ulman has gained recognition for expanding access to health care in his county, among other initiatives. Now 38, Ulman was 32 when first elected, making him the youngest county executive in Maryland’s history.

Boosters of a Brown-Ulman ticket say the men will make a formidable team in a primary that lacks a clear front-runner. By picking up Ulman, Brown will also erase much of a huge early fundraising advantage that Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) enjoys over all other 2014 gubernatorial candidates. As of January, Ulman had $2.1 million in his campaign account, more than the $1.6 million Brown reported having on hand.

Gansler, a former state’s attorney in Montgomery County, had $5.2 million. He is not expected to make his gubernatorial bid official until the fall, but he has hired a team of consultants and has started developing policy proposals.

The still-evolving Democratic field is also expected to include Del. Heather R. Mizeur (Montgomery). Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (Md.) is also looking at the race.

The contest could attract a half-dozen Republican candidates in a state where only one GOP gubernatorial candidate — former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. — has prevailed in the past generation.

Two Republicans — Harford County Executive David R. Craig and Del. Ronald A. George (Anne Arundel) — are expected to announce their candidacies next week.

Other Republicans looking at the race include Blaine R. Young, president of the Frederick County board of commissioners; Larry Hogan, a former Ehrlich Cabinet member who leads the group Change Maryland; Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate last year; and Charles Lollar, a businessman who ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives in 2010.

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

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