Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, left. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, right.(Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

In the hours before Wednesday night’s much-anticipated first debate, two Maryland Democratic gubernatorial contenders had new endorsements to tout.

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) won the backing of Progressive Maryland, a statewide advocacy group that focuses on issues of importance to lower- and middle-class families, such as raising the minimum wage.

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), meanwhile, advertised his fresh support from the Hispanic Democratic Club of Montgomery County. Gansler is a former prosecutor from Montgomery.

Wednesday night’s debate on the University of Maryland at College Park campus also includes Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery).

The gubernatorial endorsements were part of larger slates of support of state and local candidates from both organizations.

In his bid to become attorney general, Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery) won the backing of both Progressive Maryland and the Hispanic Democratic Club of Montgomery County.

Progressive Maryland said its endorsements required votes of two-thirds from its board members.