Maryland Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

The start of the first Maryland Democratic gubernatorial debate is still nearly three hours away, but the spin from the campaigns has already begun.

In a mid-afternoon memo to “interested parties” on Wednesday, an aide to Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler predicted the showdown on the campus of the University of Maryland at College Park would highlight “a clear contrast” between her boss and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown.

“If you objectively compare their accomplishments in office, there is no contest,” wrote Gansler communications director Katie Hill. “Doug Gansler has a 22 year record of getting things done for the people of Maryland. Anthony Brown has a record of failed leadership.”

Brown “spectacularly botched” the launch of Maryland’s online health insurance exchange, “the one major assignment” given to him by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), Hill wrote.

Brown, who has overseen the implementation of federal health-care reforms in Maryland, is likely to offer a somewhat different assessment once the debate gets under way at 7 p.m. The hourlong encounter is being hosted by “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory and will be broadcast statewide.

Hill’s memo goes on to recount “a few examples” of Gansler’s leadership, citing accomplishments from his tenure as attorney general.

The campaign staff of the third Democrat participating in the debate — Del. Heather R. Mizeur (Montgomery) — also offered a preview Wednesday of what they want viewers to see.

“Mizeur looks forward to talking with Maryland voters about the issues that matter to them: creating jobs and growing the middle class, closing the achievement gap, making our communities safer, and ensuring equal pay for equal work,” the campaign said in a statement, which made no mention of her opponents.

There was no early word from the Brown staff on what to watch for.