Maryland Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Anthony G. Brown on Tuesday aired his first television ads of the fall election in the Washington market, debuting with a negative spot that goes after his Republican opponent on abortion and gun control.
The 30-second ad — which makes no mention of Brown, the state’s lieutenant governor — asks viewers to “take a closer look” at Larry Hogan, claiming he has a “dangerous Republican agenda.”
Hogan, an Anne Arundel County businessman, has sought during the campaign to focus largely on issues of taxes and jobs and has said he considers both abortion and gun control to be “matters of settled law.”
Brown’s campaign has labored to get voters in heavily Democratic Maryland to take a look at Hogan’s record on a far broader range of subjects, including several hot-button social issues.
In Brown’s new ad, the narrator says that Hogan “opposes a woman’s right to choose” and “wants to ban abortions even in cases of rape and incest.” Hogan has long opposed abortion, including as a congressional candidate in three previous election cycles. But he has repeatedly said that, if elected governor, he has no plans to pursue the issue in a legislature dominated by Democrats.
The Brown ad also highlights Hogan’s opposition to a 2013 gun-control law in Maryland, saying he “opposed a ban on high-capacity magazine clips. And a ban on military-style assault weapons.”
While those provisions were part of the bill, which Hogan said he opposed, Hogan has said he has no intention of trying to get the legislature to reverse course.
Hogan campaign spokesman Adam Dubitsky said he considered the Brown ad to be a “dishonest attack” that “demonstrates a lack of integrity and . . . willingness to say and do anything to hold onto power.”
Dubitsky said the ad “is yet another reason why overtaxed Marylanders have had it with this administration and want a change of leadership in Annapolis.
Asked why the Brown campaign chose to run an ad targeting Hogan, Brown campaign manager Justin Schall said, “We spent a lot of time introducing Anthony Brown to the Washington, D.C., media market in the primary, and the fact of the matter is that Larry Hogan’s extreme agenda remains largely unknown.”
Brown has been airing ads for weeks in the Baltimore media market, which is far less expensive than the Washington market. Hogan launched his ad campaign in both markets, with a spot that introduces himself to voters and criticizes the number of tax increases passed during the administration of Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and Brown. Hogan is not currently airing ads on Washington TV.
Other Hogan ads have had a decidedly negative tone. A Web ad that debuted the day after the June primaries branded Brown the “most incompetent man in Maryland.” A more recent television ad in Baltimore criticized Brown’s “weak leadership” overseeing the state’s online health insurance exchange.