20,382 cast ballots
on opening day

On the first day of early voting for the Maryland gubernatorial primary, 20,382 people cast ballots, according to the State Board of Elections. That’s the highest number for a single day of early voting for a state primary, giving hope that overall turnout for the election might not be as low as expected.

Nearly three-quarters of those ballots were cast by Democrats. The largest numbers of ballots were in the state’s most populous counties, including Baltimore (3,143), Prince George’s (2,727) and Montgomery (2,480).

Early voting runs through Thursday. Each county has at least one voting center open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

— Jenna Johnson

New Gansler ad cites
his issues with Brown

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Douglas F. Gansler began airing an ad in Baltimore on Friday that attacks Democratic front-runner Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown for a number of matters in just 30 seconds.

Some of the issues he sees in his rival:

Brown spent a decade working at a corporate law firm, used a state-owned suite at the stadium where the Washington Redskins play, used taxpayer dollars to travel to Las Vegas for a conference, took campaign contributions from people who were later convicted of crimes, ignored problems at the Baltimore jail, lost jobs to other states and raised taxes.

“Anthony Brown,” the ad concludes. “He’ll cost us.”

Brown’s campaign brushed off the latest attack.

“It’s a sad day when a once-respected leader in our community has resorted to such despicable tactics,” said Justin Schall, Brown’s campaign manager.

— Jenna Johnson

and John Wagner

Argument reported near voting center

The Prince George’s County Board of Elections is looking into allegations that a candidate for Circuit Court clerk and campaign workers for her opponent became embroiled in a confrontation on the first day of early voting.

Election Director Alisha Alexander said that elections judges at the Upper Marlboro community center received complaints after incumbent Marilynn Bland and staffers working for opponent Sydney Harrison had a confrontation Thursday as the candidates greeted voters.

Alexander said that Harrison’s campaign workers have accused Bland of taking campaign materials from at least one voter and making false statements about her competitor.

Bland’s camp has accused Harrison of the same things.

Voters reported witnessing an oral altercation between Bland and Harrison’s staffers.

“We just don’t know what’s true,” Alexander said. “It happened outside the polling place, so our judges didn’t see it, and there are conflicting reports.”

Harrison is a former employe of Bland’s. His campaign volunteers are largely made up of other former Bland employees.

— Arelis R. Hernández