BALTIMORE - Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown won the Democratic primary for governor of Maryland on Tuesday, and Republican Larry Hogan was nominated to be the GOP candidate.
With 43 percent of precincts reporting, Brown had nearly 50 percent of the vote. Gansler had 24 percent, and Mizeur had 23 percent. Hogan had 44 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, compared with 29 percent for Harford County Executive David Craig, 15 percent for Charles County businessman Charles Lollar and 12 percent for Del. Ron George.
Brown's victory marked a major step forward toward his becoming Maryland's first black governor in a state where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a 2-to-1 margin. Brown also would be the state's first lieutenant governor to win the governorship. He thanked supporters for campaigning with a spirit that each person was part of something bigger.
"Each of us is part of that mission," Brown said. "Each of us is part of that purpose. Each of us is part of that goal to build a better Maryland."
Hogan said Craig called to congratulate him, and Hogan said he will continue campaigning for a change in Maryland.
"Our entire focus is on jobs, middle-class families and restoring our economy," Hogan said.
Brown's primary win also is significant to Gov. Martin O'Malley, who would benefit from having an ally in the governor's office as he considers running for president in 2016. O'Malley is limited to two terms, and his final term ends in January.
O'Malley quickly sent out an email after Brown's victory to urge people to donate to his general election campaign.
"It's important that we come together and get Anthony's general election campaign off to a strong start," the email said, citing progress he and Brown have made on raising the minimum wage, legalizing same-sex marriage and approving gun-control legislation.
Gansler said he called Brown to congratulate him Tuesday night.
"We had a spirited debate on the issues," Gansler said. "We agreed on a lot more than we disagreed."
Mizeur, who used public campaign financing and whose campaign didn't have nearly as much money as Brown's or Gansler's, said her campaign illustrated how effective a grassroots campaign can be.
"There were a lot of skeptics who said I would never make it this far," Mizeur said. "People who lead from fear told me to get back in line. But together, we showed them the power a movement can have when we work together for positive change."
This year's primary was unusually early for Maryland. It was moved from September to June to comply with federal rules requiring states to send ballots to members of the military and other Americans overseas.
After record-high turnout was reported in the state for early voting that started June 12 and ended Thursday, turnout appeared to be light at polling places. State elections officials said 141,590 people cast ballots in this early voting period, compared with 77,288 in 2010, the first year of early voting in Maryland. In western Maryland, election officials at two polling stations inside Bester Elementary School in Hagerstown reported relatively low turnout on Tuesday.
Nine precincts in Montgomery County reported errors with electronic poll books used to look up voter names. Affected voters were allowed to cast a provisional ballot. A county elections official said Tuesday afternoon that replacement electronic poll books were delivered.