Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown's campaign for governor released its fourth television ad Wednesday, continuing its media strategy of remaining relentlessly positive and building his personal appeal.
The ad focuses on Brown's role as the adoptive parent of his son Jonathan. In it, the lieutenant governor talks about the joy of bringing a child into one's life and how Brown advocates for adoption when he visits churches on Sundays.
"Adoption and foster care can transform lives," Brown says. "Every child deserves a loving, caring home. And it's our responsibility to make sure that that happens."
While Brown himself does not address policy in the 30-second spot, the ad flashes statistical claims about the state's progress on adoptions and foster care since Gov. Martin O'Malley and Brown took office in 2007. According to the ad, there are 43 percent fewer children in foster care in Maryland than at the beginning of the administration and 17,000 children have been adopted over that period.
The claims are consistent with figures provided by the Department of Human Resources, though spokesman Brian Schleter clarified that the figure for adoption also includes reunification of families where the child had been placed in foster care and new legal guardianships.
Brown is running against Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur of Montgomery County in the June 24 Democratic primary. The lieutenant governor holds a strong lead in polls, so there is little reason for him to go negative before his opponents do.
While both Gansler and Mizeur have delivered harsh criticism of Brown in public statements and news releases, none of the attacks has yet come in the form of TV ads.