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Charles Lollar Joins Crowded Maryland GOP Gubernatorial Primary Field

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Lollar speaking to supporters in Silver Spring.
WAMU/Matt Bush
Lollar speaking to supporters in Silver Spring.

Democrat Anthony Brown isn't the only candidate seeking to become the first African-American governor of Maryland next year—Republican Charles Lollar is also vying for the state's top job.

Lollar's introductory speech at several stops this week included his pledge to avoid racial politics, saying that he believes that both parties need to move away from them. But his race is a topic with some people, and Lollar says being a black Republican only makes it more prominent.

"We have to stop looking at each other as hyphenated Americans, and believe in the fact in our culture of freedom. We can be freedom loving Americans that think freedom first and everything else second. But it's a fine line you have to walk because we're not quite there yet," he says.

Race has already been an issue in the Democratic primary, as Attorney General Doug Gansler told some campaign volunteers that Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown is running on his race.

"They need to grow up. We have bigger problems in this state, then trying to find out who's the blackest. Or who can appeal to white America or black America the best," offers Lollar on the dust-up between Gansler and Brown.

Lollar is currently an executive with the Cintas Corporation, and served in the Marines for 16 years. Three other Republicans are running for their party's nomination, with a handful of others still determining whether they'll jump in.

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