BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) –The results are in! Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan will go head-to-head in the race for governor in November.
Mary Bubala reports from Brown’s campaign headquarters in College Park, where Brown thanked supporters.
The 52-year-old Democratic nominee says he is ready to lead the state of Maryland.
“Each of us is part of something bigger. Each of us is part of that mission, each of us is part of that purpose, each of us is part of that goal to build a better Maryland for Marylanders,” Brown told supporters in his victory speech.
The victory marked a major step forward toward Brown becoming Maryland’s first black governor in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin. Brown also would be the state’s first lieutenant governor to win the governorship.
“I just feel so thankful to God that he’s allowed me to be able to help the first African-American become president and now the first African-American to become governor of the state of Maryland–in my state,” said Congressman Elijah Cummings.
Brown overcame criticism that he botched the rollout of Affordable Health Care in Maryland, focusing on expanding pre-kindergarten and growing jobs.
Brown says Maryland is a great state, but his campaign isn’t about where we’ve been but where we are going.
“It’s about our future. It’s about opportunity,” Brown said. “Together, we’re going to write that next chapter.”
The primary win also is significant to Gov. Martin O’Malley, who would benefit from having an ally in the governor’s office as he considers running for president in 2016. O’Malley is limited to two terms, and his final term ends in January.
O’Malley quickly sent out an email after Brown’s victory.
“Anthony and I have worked together to raise Maryland’s minimum wage, pass marriage equality, expand opportunity by enacting the Maryland DREAM Act, and pass common sense gun safety legislation,” the email said. “But those are the same reasons Republicans are out to defeat him this November — so they can rollback that progress.”
The governor also urged $5 contributions to Brown’s general election campaign.
“There’s no one better to continue our progress and lead Maryland into the future. Thank you for adding your contribution,” the email said.
Brown defeated Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur for the nomination.
In his concession speech, Gansler said Tuesday’s low voter turnout is proof that Marylanders are very frustrated. He says his mission to build a better Maryland will continue.
Christie Ileto reports from Mizeur’s campaign headquarters, where supporters chanted “Heather! Heather! Heather!” as she took the stage for her concession speech.
Mizeur ran as the most liberal candidate in the Democratic primary. Opening gay, she drew lots of attention for her support of legalizing marijuana.
She says many people did not believe her campaign would make it to June. She was not very well known and did not have a huge budget.
“There were a lot of skeptics who said this campaign would never make it this far,” Mizeur said. “The next governor will have to make sure Maryland becomes a truly progressive state.”
In a release, Mizeur congratulated Brown on his victory and says she’s confident in the democratic process.
“I’ve always known that no matter what happened tonight, Maryland is being left in good hands,” she said.
With 60 percent of precincts reporting, Brown had 51 percent of the vote. Gansler had 25 percent, and Mizeur had 22 percent.
Meanwhile, Republicans chose real estate broker Larry Hogan over Del. Ron George, Harford County Executive David Craig and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar.
Jessica Kartalija reports from Hogan’s campaign headquarters in Annapolis.
Hogan’s staff tells WJZ that they are prepared to be up early Wednesday morning to start the race for governor.
He is confident in a victory over his Democratic opponent in the general election.
“I think he’s in real trouble,” Hogan said of Brown. “No lieutenant governor has ever been elected governor. Our numbers are closer than anybody’s been since Bob Ehrlich won in 2002.”
With 58 percent of the precincts reporting, Hogan had 42 percent of the vote, Craig had 21 percent, Lollar had 16 percent and George had 11 percent.
This year’s primary was unusually early for Maryland. It was moved from September to June to comply with federal rules requiring states to send ballots to members of the military and other Americans overseas.
After record-high turnout was reported in the state for early voting that started June 12 and ended Thursday, turnout appeared to be light at polling places.
State elections officials said 141,590 people cast ballots in this early voting period, compared with 77,288 in 2010, the first year of early voting in Maryland. In western Maryland, election officials at two polling stations inside Bester Elementary School in Hagerstown reported relatively low turnout on Tuesday with less than 3 percent of eligible voters by noon.
“We think it’s very light,” said Jeff Powers, the chief election judge for the two polling stations.
Nine precincts in Montgomery County reported errors with electronic poll books used to look up voter names. Affected voters were allowed to cast a provisional ballot. A county elections official said Tuesday afternoon that replacement electronic poll books were delivered.
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