Two front runners for the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial race tend to do each other in. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler are throwing things at each other, which could wind up in Annapolis businessman Larry Hogan taking the State House.
“We all know that the lieutenant governor did absolutely nothing for six or seven years, until he started running for governor…” the attorney general said on a radio program, “…and then he showed up at few places.”
Mr. Brown’s campaign manager, John Schall, retorted: “It shouldn’t be about character assassination.” He “dismissed Mr. Gansler’s accusations as fiction and the campaign should be about disagreements on issues.”
The attorney general released a new television ad last Wednesday that “again implicitly attacks the lieutenant Governor for the “failed” health care rollout.” (I thought enrollment in Obamacare was successful, especially in Maryland.)
“They’re trying to make the other guy unacceptable,” said Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College. “Gansler is saying Brown has no qualifications and no experience. And Brown is saying that Gansler is reckless and doesn’t think before he acts – that he’s dangerous.”
The attorney general, on the radio, described the race as “ugly.” I’m not surprised Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend ran for the same office, with all known party leaders opposed. As a result, we received Bob Ehrlich for four years.
Despite bringing tens of thousands jobs to Maryland through Base Realignment and Closure Process – Lieutenant Governor Brown claims as a plus – “BRAC…was an unmitigated disaster in terms of infrastructure being built, roads, jobs” the attorney general rejects. On the other hand, Michael Bennett, Aberdeen mayor since 2007, dismissed the statement as “campaign rhetoric.”
Of course, Mr. Bennett claims membership in the Democratic Party, well, Robert Lieb couldn’t be more GOP. He has taken to praise the lieutenant governor for his handling of BRAC: Mr. Brown was “a strong advocate for Maryland” in confronting the federal government.
Mr. Gansler fears the Democratic majority which is black, as the lieutenant governor is. The attorney general doesn’t raise his signs up high in Prince George’s County or other minority jurisdictions; no need in asking for it. Mrs. Townsend was a woman and Mr. Brown is a man of color.
As I said in the opening, we have a classical figure that – despite all the Democratic registrations – this November will go to a Republican. If Larry Hogan can win the GOP nomination, he might be the one.