Gansler previews campaign on social media

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is giving voters a preview of next week's campaign kickoff by releasing a video portraying him as the candidate of ideas – and lacrosse — in the 2014 gubernatorial race.

In a video posted to Twitter today, Gansler presents himself as a potential governor who will fight on behalf of women, middle-class families and the disadvantaged. The attorney general, who is expected to officially announce his long-expected candidacy in the Democratic primary Tuesday in Rockville, stresses that he is grappling with issues of substance – striking an implicit contrast with his rivals.

"Our campaign is all about ideas," Gansler tells viewers. "We're for the people."

The announced Democratic candidates in the race for governor are Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and state Del. Heather R. Mizeur of Montgomery County. Republican candidates include Harford County Executive David R. Craig, state Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County and Charles County business executive Charles Lollar.

Gansler's professionally produced campaign video, which runs 5 minutes and 46 seconds, is being distributed in social media. It was to go up on Twitter first, followed by Facebook. It is also being sent out via email to supporters posted on his campaign web site. It is not being run on cable or broadcast television.

The video opens with a segment on Charm City Lacrosse, a league Montgomery County resident Gansler founded in Baltimore to bring his favorite sport to city neighborhoods.

"Every town, hamlet city and county outside Baltimore has had lacrosse forever," Gansler says, wearing a bright red Under Armour lacrosse T-shirt. "But nobody seemed to care about Baltimore city."

He goes on to boast that the league now has 378 young people — boys and girls – signed up.

The video moves on to present testimonials to Gansler's lacrosse coaching skills from a player and parent, to his commitment to Maryland from former Montgomery police officer Mike Mancuso, and his efforts to eradicate domestic violence from activist Hannah Sassoon.

"Doug is the kind of person we need as governor," Sassoon tells viewers.

Playing a key role in the video is Baltimore Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., a Baltimore Democrat and member of a prominent political family who has been mentioned as a possible running mate for Gansler.

"Doug will not shy away from any fight," Mitchell says, praising Gansler's record on defending President Obama's Affordable Care Act, protecting Facebook users and victims of mortgage abuses, and defending the Chesapeake Bay.

Bob Wheelock, communications director for the Gansler campaign, said Mitchell's prominent role isn't a signal of his candidate's lieutenant governor choice.

"I wouldn't read more into it than Keiffer's known Doug a long time," Wheelock said.

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