Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown continued his attempt to draw contrast between himself and Republican nominee Larry Hogan Tuesday, releasing a television ad that highlights Brown's proposal to gradually expand the state's pre-kindergarten program to include half-day classes for youngsters.
The 30-second spot also echoes a message Brown deployed against a Democratic rival in primary the race for governor: that his opponent prioritizes reducing the corporate tax rate over paying for more Maryland 4-year-olds to attend a half-day pre-kindergarten program.
It's a message that has resonated strongly with Democratic voters in deep blue Maryland, and offered Brown another chance to swipe at Republican nominee Larry Hogan, who has emphasized the impact of tax increases passed under the O'Malley-Brown administration.
Brown's proposed four-year expansion of pre-K eventually would cost the state $153 million per year. Hogan has said that price tag is too high given the Marylanders' tax burden. Separately, Hogan has suggested that the state's economy would benefit from a reduction in the corporate income tax rate from 8.25 percent to 6 percent.
Although Hogan's bid for governor has focused pocketbook issues and a general call to improve the state's economic fortunes, to date Hogan has not released a specific plan to enhance Maryland's economy.
Brown's newest ad also continues to accuse Hogan of backing policies that would take the state "backwards," a charge Brown leveled last week with his first television ad of the general election season.
Hogan's campaign spokesman Adam Dubitsky criticized Brown's policies, saying the Democrat "is writing political checks that his failed economy can’t cash."
Brown's running mate Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said in a statement that the advertisement is meant to show a "clear choice" between the candidates.
With the summer season behind them, both campaigns are expected to redouble efforts to reach voters over the next nine weeks until Election Day on Nov. 4.
Libertarian candidate Shawn Quinn is also running for governor, but does not plan to run any television advertisements during his campaign.