Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown unveiled a roster Wednesday of leading Democrats who will serve as co-chairs of his Democratic gubernatorial campaign in the state's 23 counties and Baltimore.
The release of the list comes a day before Brown is expected to receive the endorsement of House Speaker Michael E. Busch at a news conference in Busch's hometown of Annapolis.
The announcements of the largely ceremonial appointments feed into a Brown campaign narrative that Democratic support is coalescing around the lieutenant governor in his effort to succeed term-limited Gov. Martin O'Malley. Brown faces Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur in the June 24 primary.
The campaign co-chairs for Brown include such prominent Democrats as Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Del. Maggie McIntosh and Sen. Nathaniel McFadden, all from Baltimore. Baltimore County is represented by Councilman John Olszewski Sr., Speaker Pro-Tem Adrienne Jones and Sen. Kathy Klausmeier.
One of the most influential in his own county may be Sen. Thomas "Mac" Middleton, a veteran lawmaker and powerful committee chairman who represents Charles. Most of Brown's chairs in the larger counties are elected officials, while in some rural counties private citizens head his campaign effort.
Brown's latest high-powered endorsement will be that of Busch, Maryland's longest serving speaker. Brown, who served two terms in the House between 1999 and 2007, has describe Busch as a mentor. Busch put Brown on a fast track to top leadership in the House, helping to bring him to the attention of O'Malley.
With Busch's support, Brown can now claim the backing of both of the General Assembly's presiding officers. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has already endorsed the lieutenant governor.