Marylanders were fortunate this year in that both candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for attorney general during the primary race were highly qualified. Each also stood to break a barrier as being the first elected to that statewide office if victorious in November: retired Baltimore District Court Judge Katie Curran O’Malley as the first woman, and U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown as the first African American. While we endorsed O’Malley in the primary contest, we are not in the least disappointed that Brown won. It was an extremely difficult choice then, and we now enthusiastically put our support behind him in the general election. Anthony Brown has our endorsement.
Congressman Brown, who represents parts of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties in the state’s 4th Congressional District, previously spent eight years as Maryland’s lieutenant governor under Martin O’Malley and served in the Maryland General Assembly for eight years prior to that as a member of the House of Delegates representing District 25 in Prince George’s County. His strong relationships throughout state government will serve him well as attorney general. The state’s chief legal officer is charged with providing legal advice to state agencies, defending the state in court and suing on its behalf when required.
Brown — who’s also a Harvard Law graduate, former JAG officer and retired Army Reserve colonel — is an inspirational leader and skilled legal strategist who’s learned from the mistakes of his failed run for governor in 2014. We expect him to make a capable successor to current Attorney General Brian Frosh and look forward to seeing what he does with the position. Among his stated goals are eliminating problematic patterns and practices within state agencies, and expanding the authority of his office.
On the Republican side, we endorsed former federal prosecutor Jim Shalleck in the primary. There, we were disappointed to see him lose the Republican nomination to Michael Anthony Peroutka. The former Anne Arundel County councilman once advocated for southern secession and belonged to the League of the South, which is described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He represents a kind of white nationalist extremism that has no place in Maryland state government.
The Baltimore Sun editorial board endorses political candidates in races that are of particular importance to our readers for reasons such as the critical nature of the work, the tightness of the election contest and the dearth of available information that occurs when an office has no incumbents competing for it. We make our conclusions after reviewing a range of data, including: the candidates’ campaign materials and responses to The Sun’s voter guide questionnaire, news stories written about the candidates, debates they’ve participated in, and interviews we’ve conducted with community leaders or the candidates themselves.