Brown Surges in Endorsements, Others Downplay the Support

By Colleen Wilson

ANNAPOLIS—Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown added another endorsement to his growing list of sponsors last Thursday after House Speaker Michael Busch announced his support at a news conference in Annapolis.

Despite the pouring rain, about 50 people came to the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center to see the Democratic candidate accept Busch’s formal endorsement.

The announcement was really no surprise as Brown and Busch, D-Anne Arundel, have worked together for 16 years in state government – a relationship lauded by both men.

“Any observer of Maryland politics would have been shocked if Busch didn’t endorse Brown,” said Todd Eberly, an associate professor of political science at St. Mary’s College. “The O’Malley administration has very effectively used Brown as a liaison with the Assembly, so there’s a continuation of that working relationship.”

Busch said he does not give endorsements “lightly,” and bolstered his backing of Brown saying, “no lieutenant governor has had more hands-on experience … to go out and deal with policy issues” than Brown.

Brown said he relies on partnerships, like the one with Busch, to be a better leader.

“Where they [endorsements] really matter is that it’s a demonstration of the strength of this relationship,” Brown said. “And this relationship is the foundation for a important partnership to do the difficult work that lies ahead.”

Brown said that in order to better serve the people, the relationships between top officials is key: “I value these endorsements because it’s not just about the campaign, it’s about the important work that we need to do when we govern.”

Eberly said endorsements are more of a “psychological boost” for candidates and a media-attention generator. However, Eberly added, “There is precious little evidence to show that endorsements make a difference in an election.”

Democratic competitor and Attorney General Doug Gansler appears less concerned with piling up endorsements after he announced his candidacy in September four months after Brown.

“Gansler has not necessarily presented himself as a team player,” Eberly said about Gansler “[dictating] an agenda and a timetable, which ruffled some feathers and that’s not necessarily the way you win endorsements.”

Brown has received support most notably from Gov. Martin O’Malley, Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr., and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. The other Democratic candidate is Del. Heather Mizeur, D-Takoma Park, who has received support from a Democrat, Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.

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