Local leaders from across Maryland are gathered in Ocean City for a conference this week. ( Photo by Jeffrey MacMillan for The Washington Post )

With hundreds of local officials from across Maryland gathered in Ocean City this week, several of the state’s 2014 gubernatorial hopefuls are doing their best to make a lasting impression.

On Monday night, attendees at the Maryland Municipal League conference have been invited to a “dessert and cocktail reception” at a local hotel sponsored by Harford County Executive David R. Craig (R), who announced his run for governor this month.

“These are his people,” Craig spokesman Jim Pettit said, noting that Craig served as mayor of Havre de Grace in the late 1980s. “He’s very comfortable with local officials.”

Blaine R. Young, another Republican mulling a bid for governor, is throwing a reception a little later Monday night. Young, the president of the Frederick County Commissioners, has invited conference-goers to Seacrets, a popular night club.

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), meanwhile, is hosting a “reception honoring municipal leaders” at the conference site just before a dinner on Tuesday. He also has a key speaking slot at the dinner, where he is standing in for Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).

Ealier Tuesday, Brown, who last month became the first Democrat to enter the 2014 race, plans a press conference to announce a group of municipal leaders backing his ticket, which as of this month includes Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D) as the lieutenant governor candidate.

Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery), meanwhile, plans something a little different. Mizeur, who is expected to formally kick off her gubernatorial campaign this summer, has invited the press to watch her work at a local shelter and emergency food services organization.

According to an advisory, Mizeur and her supporters will be “stocking the food p

antry and preparing meals for hundreds of needy families in the Lower Eastern Shore.”