Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown sailed past his opponents on Tuesday emerging as the victor in the “ugliest, costliest” democratic gubernatorial primary in Maryland’s history.
Though Brown defeated Gansler handily, the contest between the two was a mud fight from the jump.
According to the Washington Post, an audiotape emerged last July of Gansler suggesting that Brown had little to offer other than the historic nature of his candidacy, saying, “Right now his campaign slogan is, ‘Vote for me, I want to be the first African American governor of Maryland.’”
Brown’s campaign teams featured ads suggesting that Gansler’s position on universal pre-kindergarten sounded remarkably Republican and a pro-Brown super PAC aired a TV commercial resurrecting Gansler’s state-trooper and underaged-drinking scandals.
Politico.com says before Gansler even declared his candidacy, he was embroiled in two scandals: Maryland state troopers alleged he misused his state police vehicular detail, ordering officers to speed and break other traffic laws; and a photo emerged of Gansler at a Delaware beach party at which underaged attendees appeared to be drinking alcohol.
Throughout his campaign, Brown had the support of most of the state’s Democratic political establishment.
If Brown wins in November, he’ll become the state’s first African American governor and only the third elected governor in U.S. history.
In November, he faces GOP businessman and activist Larry Hogan, who won Tuesday’s Republican primary, but Brown holds a big advantage. Democrats have controlled the Free State’s governor’s mansion for a number of years.
Hogan was a Cabinet secretary under the state’s last Republican chief executive.