Former lieutenant governor Anthony G. Brown said he awoke the day after his upset loss for the governor's mansion with a clear sense of purpose.
"From November 5, I woke up believing I would continue to serve the public," Brown said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun Thursday. "How I was going to do that and what that
would look like was not clear to me."
The opportunity to run again after a bruising campaign came far sooner than he expected, and the 53-year-old Democrat plans to jump back into politics while pundits are still chattering about why his last campaign did not deliver a victory in a state he was expected to win by landslide.
Brown announced Thursday he would join the race to replace Rep. Donna Edwards in Maryland's 4th Congressional District, the latest turn in the state's political upheaval. Ten days ago, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski touched off a scramble among state Democrats by announcing her unexpected retirement from the coveted Senate seat she's held for decades.
Edwards announced this week she will vacate her seat to join the potentially crowded race for the Senate. Former Prince George's County state's attorney Glenn Ivey announced plans Wednesday to run to succeed her.
At least five other Prince George's County elected officials have also expressed interest in joining the race, said Del. Dereck Davis, a Prince George's Democrat and chair of the House Economic Matters Committee. Davis said he hasn't ruled out a bid of his own.
"It's shaping up to be a pretty competitive race," Davis said. "I don't know if they're all going to get in, but there's a lot interested folks who would do a good job."
Brown, who briefly considered running for Senate, said his campaign for Congress will focus on issues that also were part of the campaign for governor: stemming the tide of foreclosures, improving jobs, paying for college and improving schools.
After losing the governor's race, Brown left public office in January for the first time in 16 years. Before becoming lieutenant governor under Gov. Martin O'Malley, he served eight years in the Maryland house of Delegates, representing a district that now lies within the 4th congressional.
This winter, Brown returned to the same Prince George's County land use and development lawfirm where he worked before becoming lieutenant governor.
Brown said he has spent the past four months out of the public eye spending time with his family and "speaking to a lot of my neighbors and people in the community, and continuing the conversation about dreams and concerns and aspirations that people have."
While reluctant to discuss his specific campaign plans Thursday, Brown said he had a guiding principle about approaching a gridlocked Congress.
"It's not what I'm going to do in Congress, it's what I'm going to do for the residents of the Fourth District," Brown said. "Sometimes congressmen go down to Washington DC and get caught up in the swirl of the nation's capital. You have to stay grounded in your district."