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Brown hires Obama adviser, raises $1 million

Lt. Gov Anthony Brown's campaign announced Monday it raised $1 million since early April - narrowing a fundraising disadvantage - and it hired President Barack Obama's campaign manager to help Brown try to win the governor's mansion.

Brown, who two months ago became the first and only Democrat in the race, said he needs to sustain momentum in the remaining 50 weeks until the Democratic primary next June.

Former Obama adviser Jim Messina will join the campaign as a senior adviser, helping the campaign use technology to build grassroots support and increase fundraising, campaign aides said.

"You've read about Jim as a fixer," Brown told a crowd of supporters at his campaign headquarters in Largo. "Let me say: nothing is broken." Brown said that Messina "knows how to mobilize" and will bring that expertise to what Brown called "a long conversation" with Maryland voters.

"It worked for President Obama and America," Brown said. "It's going to work for Maryland."

Messina, whose consulting business is based in Washington D.C., told reporters he called the Brown campaign and asked to help. While Messina said he did not bring any specific resources from the Obama campaign, he said he intends to rely on the infrastructure of volunteers the campaign established during the president's election and re-election campaigns.

"We're going to run the best campaign this state has ever seen," Messina told Brown supporters.

Brown's campaign manager, Justin Schall, said the lieutenant governor raised $1 million in the dozen weeks since the Maryland General Assembly adjourned on April 9. State officials are prohibited from raising money during the session.

The new campaign cash, added to the significant sum Brown's running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, brought to the campaign, brings the total raised by Brown-Ulman to $4.8 million. Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who plans to announce his candidacy for governor in September, reported a $5.1 million campaign fund in January, the last reporting deadline.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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