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In Wake Of Loss, Gansler Keeps His Tone Diplomatic

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Maryland Gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Douglas Gansler lost to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown on Tuesday.
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Maryland Gubernatorial candidate Attorney General Douglas Gansler lost to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown on Tuesday.

It was a disappointing night for Maryland's current Attorney General, Doug Gansler, who was defeated in the Democratic gubernatorial primary by rival Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown.

Any bubbles of optimism among Gansler supporters inside the ballroom at the Bethesda Marriott conference room popped pretty early in the night. Not much more than an hour after his election-night party started, reports of various news organizations calling the race for Lt. Governor Anthony Brown spread through the crowd.

Gansler loyalist Bill Dalton blamed Gansler's loss on a Democratic political establishment firmly in Anthony Brown's corner. "Doug would be more independent, and the establishment doesn't really want that in a governor," Dalton said.

Just after 10 p.m., Gansler emerged. He told the crowd that in spite of a race that had become remarkably contentious, he and Anthony Brown see eye to eye in many respects.

"We had a spirited debate on the issues, and we agree [on] a lot more than we disagree on, and we are both looking forward to making a better Maryland in the future," Gansler said.

But for Gansler's communications director Katie Hill, the election was about a new vision for Maryland's future—a vision, it seems, that voters didn't want. "You know, they showed that they didn't want a change—and our campaign was predicated upon bringing change to Maryland," Hill said.

Hill also lays some of the blame for Gansler's loss on Maryland's first-ever June primary. The state had previously held primaries in September. Hill says the new date contributed to low voter turnout, which hurt her candidate.

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