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State employee union endorses Brooke Lierman for comptroller

The largest union for state and local government workers is endorsing Baltimore Democrat Brooke Lierman’s campaign for Maryland comptroller.

“Recovering from the pandemic will require investing in our public services, and Brooke has an exciting vision for how the comptroller can support Maryland families,” said Patrick Moran, president of Council 3 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

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AFSCME Council 3 and AFSCME Council 67 planned to offer a joint endorsement of Lierman outside the State Center government complex in Baltimore on Wednesday. Combined, they represent more than 50,000 workers for city, county and state government agencies.

Glen Middleton, executive director of Council 67, said he believes Lierman will protect union jobs and ensure that employee pensions are fully funded.

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Lierman is in her second term as a state delegate representing south, east and downtown Baltimore neighborhoods in Annapolis. Her legislative efforts have included boosting funding for mass transit, banning polystyrene food packaging and supporting college athletes.

The Maryland comptroller serves as the state’s chief tax collector, processing returns and refunds for millions of Maryland residents and businesses. The office is also involved in licensing and regulating various businesses.

The comptroller also sits on the three-member Board of Public Works, which has the final say on state contracts ranging from school construction to road repairs.

“The power of the purse cannot be understated,” Lierman said when she announced her campaign in 2020. “The comptroller is one of three decision-makers on not only what projects are we spending our money on, but who is completing those contracts.”

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Lierman is among three announced candidates hoping to replace Comptroller Peter Franchot, who is running in the Democratic primary for governor. The others are Bowie Mayor Tim Adams, a Democrat, and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, a Republican.

The AFSCME unions previously endorsed Democrat Tom Perez for governor.

Winning endorsements from unions helps candidates raise both their profile and campaign funds and also allows them to tap into an organized army of union members who can become campaign volunteers.

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