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Three GOP candidates "endorse" Brown for governor

Three GOP candidates will gather Monday to endorse Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for governor, but there’s a catch.

Dan Bongino, who is running for the 6th Congressional District seat, and gubernatorial candidates, Harford County Executive David Craig and Del. Ron George, say they want Brown and Howard County Executive Ken Ulman to run for governor and lieutenant governor of Connecticut.

The group is planning a rally at Lawyers Mall outside the State House in Annapolis at 10 a.m. Monday for the “special announcement.”

“These are conservatives, these men, but I can’t endorse them,” Bongino said recently on the “Sean and Frank” show at WCBM Talk Radio AM 680. “Unfortunately, I have to endorse Anthony Brown and [Ken] Ulman.

“It’s not for governor of Maryland – it’s for governor of Connecticut,” Bongino said. “Our benevolent lieutenant governor, now running for governor, is endorsing the Connecticut Obamacare plan while bankrupting Maryland taxpayers who paid for the Maryland exchange.”

Maryland is planning an overhaul of the state’s health exchange that will involve swapping the original software for the technology used by Connecticut, which has been praised as being one of the nation’s most successful.

Bongino said the “endorsement” was “silly and sarcastic” but intended to highlight “the epidemic failure of Maryland Democratic one-party monopoly.”

Bongino is running against Rep. John Delaney for Congress. He spent 12 years with the U.S. Secret Service, and recently wrote a book on his experience, called “Life Inside the Bubble.”

George is a two-term state delegate from Anne Arundel County vying for the Republican nomination for governor.

Craig, who is in his second term as Harford County executive, also is seeking the GOP nomination to replace Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Craig’s spokesman, James Pettit, accused Brown trying to distance himself from the troubled health exchange.

“Anthony Brown was not shy about seeking publicity, and now he’s ducking accountability,” Pettit said. “You can’t hide.”

Brown’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

ywenger@baltsun.com

twitter.com/yvonnewenger

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