Maryland's governor picked sides in the hottest Democratic primary in the state Thursday, announcing that he plans to support Sen. Rob Garagiola for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District.
"At this critically important time, when people are paying attention, I wanted to throw support, my personal support, behind Senator Garagiola," Gov. Martin O'Malley said at an afternoon news conference in front of the state house.
The governor noted that that the two have "fought together" for environmental bills and for clean energy. "I know that he's already been an extremely effective state Senator," O'Malley said.
"Go get 'em Rob."
Garagiolia is locked in a tight primary battle with John Delaney, an independently wealthy Potomac businessman who has poured money into television ads in the expensive DC media market. An internal poll put out by Delaney's camp showed him up by 26 points.
Garagiola made a nod to the poll in brief remarks, saying he's been outspent and faced bad poll numbers in the past. He also echoed some of O'Malley's stump speech, noting that Maryland has ranked first in education for four years and has held down tuition at state colleges and universities.
He also alluded to one bill still winding its way through the General Assembly. "We're going to get the governor's off-shore wind through," Garagiola said. "We've got plenty of time for that."