Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown will formally announce his candidacy for governor Friday at a cookout in his home county of Prince George's.

Brown, a Democrat who has been expected to seek the governorship in 2014 since he was elected along with Gov. Martin O'Malley in 2006, will make his run official at a 4:30 p.m. event at Prince George's Community College.

A former delegate and a veteran of the war in Iraq, the 51-year-old Brown will follow up the Friday announcement with events Saturday in Silver Spring and in the Waverly neighborhood in Baltimore. He will be joined at the city event by O'Malley, who has pledged to do all he can to see that his political partner of the last eight years is elected.

Brown, who is African-American, will enter the Democratic race as the recognized front-runner, largely because black voters are expected to make up 35-40 percent of the Democratic primary electorate. If elected, Brown would be the first African-American governor of Maryland and only the third to be elected nationwide.

Prospective Democratic opponents include Attorney General Douglas M. Gansler, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, Montgomery County Del. Heather Mizeur and U.S. Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-2nd.