U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes joined the list of Maryland Democratic elected officials to have endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown's candidacy for governor Monday, giving Brown the support of half of the state's congressional delegation.
With Sarbanes' support, Brown can claim the endorsements of four of the state's eight congressmen along with that of Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who gave the lieutenant governor her blessing Sunday.
Brown had previously been endorsed by Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, Donna Edwards and Steny Hoyer. Among the Democrats still holding their fire are John Delaney and Chris Van Hollen, both of whom represent large parts of Montgomery County, home to Brown rivals Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur. Also on the sidelines is Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, who has said he is considering a run for governor, and U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin.
The remaining member of the congressional delegation is Rep. Andrew P. Harris, a Republican.
Among the reasons Sarbanes gave for his decision to back Brown were the lieutenant governor's work to implement the Affordable Care Act in Maryland, his military service in Iraq and his coordination of the state's efforts to accommodate military base expansion.
While some political experts doubt the importance of endorsements, candidates generally prefer having them to seeing their fellow elected officials back their rivals. Gansler, who will join the race Tuesday, has said he will begin announcing endorsements after his candidacy becomes official. Mizeur has won the backing of Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.
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