Howard County Executive David R. Craig, a Republican candidate for governor in 2014, got in a dig at prospective Democratic rival Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown over Brown's plan to skip a forum on manufacturing that five candidates are scheduled to attend.
Brown was the only one of the six major announced candidates to send regrets after being invited to appear at the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland's Manufacturing Day forum at the Towson Sheraton Friday morning. Organizers said he had agreed to meet with members of the institute on a future occasion.
Craig put on a news release late Thursday urging Brown to reconsider his decision not to attend.
“With ongoing fiscal emergencies in Washington having an adverse impact on Maryland’s ability to grow jobs, one would think that the Lt. Governor might want to learn about ways to diversify our state’s employment base,” Craig's statement said. “Unfortunately his priorities appear not to lie with regular people who need high-paying jobs in a manufacturing rebound that could leave Maryland behind.”
Craig plans to appear along with fellow Republican candidates Ron George, and Anne Arundel County delegate, and Charles Lollar, a Charles County business executive. Two Democratic candidates, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Montgomery County Del. Heather R. Mizeur, also have accepted invitations.
The keynote speaker for the event is Michael J. Hicks, a Ball State University professor whose topic is "Why Maryland Gets a D in Manufacturing," which doesn't sound like a warm welcome of a member of the incumbent administration.
Justin Schall, Brown's campaign manager, said Brown had a previously scheduled campaign event at the time organizers contacted him.
"We tried to work it out. We appreciate that the organizers were willing to work with us in the future," Schall said. He said Thursday that the topic of the keynote was news to him and had nothing to do with the decision to skip the event.