Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) rolled out his first formal endorsements of the governor’s race Tuesday: 41 current and former elected officials and party leaders from his home jurisdiction of Montgomery County.
A list issued by Gansler’s campaign includes former U.S. Rep. Michael D. Barnes, 16 current state legislators, 10 former state legislators, two former mayors of Rockville, two board of education members and three former Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee members. Gansler, a former Montgomery state’s attorney, also counts as supporters Montgomery’s current state’s attorney, John J. McCarthy, as well as its current and immediate past sheriffs.
Until Tuesday, Gansler had avoided publicizing his supporters while his chief Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), trumpeted one group after another. As of this weekend, when Brown held events in Baltimore and Montgomery, he had unveiled more than 180 endorsements from fellow Democrats, as well as several from labor organizations and other interest groups.
Brown’s backers include most of the state’s top Democratic elected officials, including Gov. Martin O’Malley, both U.S. senators, four U.S. House members and the state Senate president and House speaker. Those backing Brown, a former Prince George’s County delegate, also include 18 state and local officials from Montgomery.
“I am pleased to have the support of so many Montgomery County elected officials, present and past,” Gansler said in a statement Tuesday. “Ours is a relationship forged over many years, and I am proud of the accomplishments we have achieved together.”
Gansler said there is “still more to do with respect to education, transportation and job creation. As governor, I will continue working with the leaders of the county to best serve the people, because, in the end, it is the people’s endorsement and only their endorsement that truly matters.”
Gansler aides said more endorsements will be unveiled as the campaign continues.
Hours after the initial list was released, two names were removed: Del. Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher and Sen. Roger Manno.
In an interview, Waldstreicher said his name was “erroneously listed.”
“I have not endorsed Doug Gansler for governor,” Waldstreicher said. “In fact, I’m endorsing Anthony Brown.”
Manno did not immediately return a call seeking comment. A Gansler aide conceded that Manno’s inclusion was a mistake as well.
A third Democrat competing in the June gubernatorial primary, Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery), has also claimed some support from Montgomery, the state’s largest jurisdiction, including an organization representing its police officers and several current and former officials from Takoma Park, where she served on the council.
Gansler’s supporters in the legislature who were announced Tuesday include: Sens. Brian J. Feldman, Jennie M. Forehand, Richard S. Madaleno Jr. and Karen S. Montgomery; and Dels. Sam Arora, Charles E. Barkley, Alfred C. Carr Jr., Kathleen Dumais, David Fraser-Hildalgo, James W. Gilchrist, Ana Sol Gutierrez, Ariana B. Kelly, Susan C. Lee, Aruna Miller, Luiz R.S. Simmons and Craig J. Zucker.