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Progressive Maryland endorses Brown for governor

Apparently following its head rather than its heart, the activist group Progressive Maryland threw its support behind Lt. Anthony G. Brown in the Democratic race for governor -- passing on the chance to embrace the liberal candidacy of Del. Heather R. Mizeur of Montgomery County.

Elbridge James, chairman of the group, said Progressive Maryland decided to endorse Brown after "a lot of discussion and re-discussion."

"We love Heather," said James, but at the end of the day the group's 24-member vote decided that Brown was the most viable candidate.

"Some of us thought differently," he said. James said Attorney General Douglas F. Mizeur also had support in the group but not as much as Mizeur.

"This was a tough decision to make," James said.

The chairman said Brown won the endorsement by gaining the votes of two-thirds of the board members present. He said that in some cases board members represented groups that had already endorsed Brown. He said Progressive Maryland's membership is made up of labor unions and community organizations as well as thousands of individuals.

The organization has been at the forefront of several high-profile mobilization efforts for liberal causes in recent years, including raising the minimum wage, expansion of health care, easier voting and decriminalization of marijuana. It has also been one of the main proponents of setting a "living wage" higher than the minimum wage -- a cause Mizeur has embraced.

Gansler claimed an offsetting endorsement this week as he received the support of the Hispanic Club of Montgomery County.


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