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Campaigning with Cody: introducing the candidates

9 April 2014 By Cody Boteler, Associate News Editor No Comments

For the uninitiated: on June 24 voters in Maryland will choose their next governor. Well, not technically, as it’s a primary election, but Maryland is not very likely to elect a governor from the Republican Party.

There are three candidates in the Democratic primary: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and State Delegate Heather Mizeur. These weekly pieces I’ll be writing are meant to keep you all updated on what they’ve been doing. Since this is the first, a little bit of background may be in order.

Brown served two terms in the Maryland House of Delegates representing Prince George’s County, and was tasked by the O’Malley administration with handling Maryland’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act – a job he has recently been criticized for, especially from Gansler. Former President Bill Clinton recently endorsed Brown. He would be Maryland’s first black governor, if elected.

Since being sworn in, Gansler has prosecuted polluters of the Chesapeake Bay and was the first statewide official to endorse same-sex marriage.

Mizeur has served in the House of Delegates since 2006 and has championed issues of healthcare, environmental protection and social justice. So far, she is the only of the three candidates to have been endorsed by any environmental group. If elected, Heather would be the first female governor of Maryland, and the first openly gay governor of any state.

And, next week, you’ll all have the chance to meet them. On April 17 at 7 p.m. in SECU arena, the three candidates will be speaking at an election forum. Admission is free with a student ID. I cannot encourage you all enough to attend – especially if you are a Maryland resident. Choosing our next governor is one of the most direct ways you’ll be able to have a say in government. Local levels are really the only place where anything gets done, anyway, so you may as well have a say in who the executive is.

This primary goal of this column is and will be to inform all of you about the election and the candidates, but I need to be honest, in the interest of full disclosure. Personally, I’m supporting Mizeur. She’s passionate, educated and fighting a truly grassroots campaign against two more-funded candidates. She’s also the only candidate to come out and state their opposition to the proposed Cove Point natural gas facility in southern Maryland. But enough about my pick. Come out next week and meet them all yourself, and make your own choices. And then talk about those choices with people – get involved.

All three of the campaigns are (I’m fairly sure) looking for interns or fellows, and I know for a fact that all three are always looking for volunteers. Far too often, young people aren’t really considered in elections. Let’s change that in Maryland.

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