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The Tentacle


May 14, 2013

Anthony Brown in Frederick

Roy Meachum

The lieutenant governor stopped here on Saturday; it was a part of his announcing formally that he will run for Maryland’s top job. He is a Democrat, which means he won’t carry the county in 2014. But the rest of the state?

 

Barring “a great White Hope,” Anthony Brown looks like a shoo-in. He’s African American that doesn’t suit Frederick very well, although he comes well-recommended by his party’s leaders from the top. There’s a residual feeling locally left over from Martin O’Malley, who is viewed locally as a constant tax booster.

 

Among the other Democrats mentioned in the press, there might arise: U.S. Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur. They are all white. I know nothing about the legislator next door. My son practices law in Howard County; he knows Mr. Ulman.

 

My best guess would be the congressman and attorney general, cheered on by their personal factions. “Dutch” Ruppersberger was born in 1946, which makes him the oldest among the talked-about candidates. Mr. Gansler turns 50 this October; if he hopes for higher elected office, he might grab the gubernatorial ticket next year. Mr. Ulman was elected to the Howard post at 32; he will be 40 in 2014. Delegate Mizeur is a year older. This is based on ages, not the depth of ambitions.

 

Whoever faces Mr. Brown cannot count on the black vote, as we read recently, which threatens to eclipse the European American turnout.

 

The Republicans’ best-hope is a bad split in the Democratic organization; this happened in 2002 – and resulted in the loss of Katharine Kennedy Townsend, who would have been Maryland’s first female governor. 2014 is tantamount to the newly declared candidate that hopes to become the state’s chief executive who is not white.

 

Waiting in the wings, hoping for the “baddest” split: Harford County Executive David Craig, Anne Arundel Delegate Ronald George and Change Maryland Chairman Larry Hogan, whose father was an FBI agent and U.S. representative, and Prince George’s County executive, who lives here, south of the city.

 

Frederick’s Board of County Commissioners President Blaine Young seems to vary in which office he seeks. Having announced a possible run for governor, buying a large van and collecting funds for the race, he has spoken of other races, namely Frederick county executive. He’s leaving all options open. The GOP official is certainly the most recognized among local politicians.

 

On the other hand, I’ve mused in several TheTentacle.com columns, the man whom I have known since a teenager might be blinded by the local glare and praises. On the state level, Larry Hogan is making more noise, appearing on radio and television and generally making himself available around Maryland.

 

Not the least thing going for Lieutenant Governor Brown is his service in the Army. Added to his two Harvard degrees, his nearly four rows of medals attest to his willingness to give to the nation. On the Internet, he is photographed as a full eagle, Colonel Anthony Brown.

 

As I wrote earlier, as an African American running in a state below the Mason-Dixon Line, he’s subject still to an unexpected “Great White Hope” that will seize away the office in Annapolis.

 

In this corner, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown seems good to go.

 

 



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