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Maryland Democrats Talk Unity After Electoral Slugging Match

Gansler stops short of endorsing Brown

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Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler put aside their electoral sparring for a Democratic unity breakfast Wednesday.
Matt Bush/WAMU
Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Attorney General Doug Gansler put aside their electoral sparring for a Democratic unity breakfast Wednesday.

The Maryland Democratic party held a "unity breakfast" on Wednesday in hopes of smoothing over any remaining hard feelings after last month's primary election.

"And now say together: 'We need each other to succeed!'" said Gov. Martin O'Malley, who was there to rally the troops.

The real star attraction, though, was the three Democrats who ran to replace him. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown won easily, but it came after an especially vicious campaign running against attorney general Doug Gansler. Montgomery County delegate Heather Mizeur finished third.

She attended the first so-called "kiss and make-up" event just two days after the election.

"I showed up and said I did not have a whole lot of making up to do. I was just there to kiss. So Anthony planted a big one on me," Mizeur said. "I looked over at Deb and Carmen (our wives) and they were looking at each other."

Gansler was not at that event, but he was at the one on Wednesday.

"The lieutenant governor was kind enough to say that no one lost. I mean, I kind of feel like I lost when the votes came in," Gansler said. "Some people prevailed and others didn't. That's that Harvard education."

While there were plenty of jokes, there was not an implicit Gansler endorsement of Brown. The attorney general says he will do that sometime "down the road," but Gansler reassured Democrats he is not going to support Republican nominee Larry Hogan.

"I was a Democrat when I was a little boy. I'll be a Democrat when I die. I believe in Democratic values. And we've got a really good team around the state," he said.

Brown, meanwhile, says the clashes and name-calling of the primary are now in the past.

"No awkwardness. I think we all go into this knowing that these are important public offices in Maryland, and in counties and communities throughout the state. They're hard-fought," Brown said.

All three agreed that despite the huge fundraising and voter registration advantages the Democrats have in Maryland, the party must take November's election seriously or Republicans will win the state's top office. The last time that happened was in 2002, which was also the last time the Democratic nominee was the sitting lieutenant governor.

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