Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown will continue racking up labor endorsements of his 2014 run for governor Tuesday when he picks up the support of the largest union of state government employees.
Brown, a Democrat, will visit South Baltimore to accept the backing of AFSCME Maryland Council 3, which represents about 25,000 Maryland state government and public university employees.
Jeff Pittman, a spokesman for AFSCME, said the union council supported Brown by a near-unanimous vote after interviewing him and Del. Heather R. Mizeur of Montgomery County, as well as a representative of Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler -- the other Democrats in the race. Pittman said the Republican candidates were also invited to come in for interviews but did not accept.
The endorsement continues a string of victories for Brown in winning the support of the state's largest labor organizations. Within the last two months, the lieutenant governor has won the backing of the Service Employees International Union, the Maryland State Education Association and the Maryland and the state council of the AFL-CIO.
Brown gained AFSCME's support despite some rocky relations between the state employees' union and the administration of Gov. Martin O'Malley and Brown over such matters as furloughs imposed during the worst years of the recession and budget shortfall.
Pittman said that despite those differences, "Anthony's been a good friend" who sees state employees as "partners, not the enemy."
AFSCME's endorsement traditionally has brought with it both money and organizational muscle.
"When we endorse, it's for real," Pittman said. "It's everything we can throw at it."