Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has won the Democratic primary for governor of Maryland.
Brown has been lieutenant governor to Gov. Martin O'Malley since 2007. O'Malley couldn't run again because of term limits, but is considering a presidential run; a Brown victory in November would give him an ally to defend and extend his record.
Brown played a leading role in implementing health care reform in Maryland, and he was challenged during the campaign about severe flaws in the exchange website. Voters who supported him Tuesday said one person can't be blamed for the problem.
“It was suitable," Brenda Teal, of Prince George's County said. "It had some bumps. It had some rocks. But I think that overall it’s going to be good for the citizens in the statement of Maryland.”
He campaigned to expand Maryland's economy, including creating a commission to study tax reform. He also says he wants to offer universal pre-kindergarten in Maryland by 2018.
It was a celebratory mood in College Park as Democratic elected officials offered praise for Brown, who defeated Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur among other challengers.
“Clearly Lt. Gov. Brown has demonstrated to all of Marylanders why he has the capacity, the temperament and the intellect to the lead state," said Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Prince George's County). "That held true when he was lieutenant governor and it’s going to be double-fold as governor of the state.”I think that Anthony Brown demonstrated the temperament, the integrity and the leadership that it takes to move the state forward.”
Added state Sen. Catherine Pugh (D-Baltimore): “I watched the man articulate the issues and explain the issues in a way it made it easy to vote for those issues," she said of Brown. “He’s a man of service and this is the kind of man I want to lead the state. This candidate was well prepared to win.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Baltimore, Howard County) said, "We’ve got a man who is an Iraq veteran. A family man. A brilliant young man. And somebody who gets it, who understands the pain and the problems of our state. And now he’s in a position to be in control.”
Cummings acknowledged the possibility that Brown could become the first African American governor in Maryland.
“Number one, Anthony is a great man who just so happens to be an African American," he said. "But there is just no way anyone can pass up this moment in history.”
In his victory speech, Brown said: During my 30 years in the United States Army, I had the privilege of serving with and leading some of the most patriotic men and women from all four corners of this country. We served because we believed in something bigger than ourselves - we believed in building a better future for all of our families. That’s the same reason why thousands of Marylanders have worked so hard to help us take this next step tonight and I want to thank them for their dedication - Ken and I never would have made it this far without the Brown-Ulman brigade. We believe that everyone should be able to get a quality education, a good-paying, family supporting job and the opportunity to see their children reach their full potential. Just like Maryland families, we're committed to maintaining fiscal discipline while funding these important priorities. In November, Marylanders will have a real choice between returning to the failed Republican policies of record spending and corporate tax giveaways, or standing with us as we write the next chapter in Maryland by strengthening middle-class families and growing our economy.
Brown will now face Republican challenger Larry Hogan for the governor's seat in November. Republicans will likely hammer Brown on taxes and job creation.
“If we’re going to build a better Maryland we’re not going to cut our way to a better Maryland," Brown said. "We’re going to have to make strategic investments in education through the governor’s budget in job creating. As governor, we’ve got to be fiscally responsible. We’ve got to live within our means. We’re going to create opportunities and achieve all of that.”
Brown wasn't concerned about the low voter turnout during the Primary.
“I think Marylanders do care," Brown said. "We moved the election from September to June, you change dates on people. It’s not in their rhythm or cycle and we see a low turnout. November, everyone knows there’s an election in November. We’ll get that turnout where we need to be. And I’m very excited about the next 132 days. History. History.”
For complete election results click here .