Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler officially announced his candidacy for governor on Tuesday, Sept. 24 in Rockville at the Montgomery County Courthouse Square.
“At my core, I am about protecting people, standing up for justice and fairness and never giving up on a fight when it’s right,” Gansler told the crowd.
The Rockville announcement was the first of three stops on Tuesday, which included announcements in Ellicott City and Baltimore. It also kicked off a 17-city announcement tour for Gansler.
His challengers include Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and running mate Ken Ulman, who currently serves as Howard County Executive, and state delegate Heather Mizeur, a democrat who represents the 20th District in Montgomery County. Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-2), who also served as Baltimore County’s executive from 1994 until 2002, is considering running.
His speech focused on the economy and jobs, education, his record as attorney general and his focus on meeting the needs of the people.
“As governor, I will protect the people of Maryland,” he said. “I will protect them by delivering on the number one priority in our state: jobs — creating jobs and a fairer economy, where the middle class, and thus all of us, thrives.”
Gansler won the attorney general post after serving six years as an Assistant United States Attorney General during the Clinton administration. Under his leadership, the attorney general’s office started the state’s first domestic violence, gang and elder abuse units, as well as a civil rights division.
He spoke about environmental victories and strides in the prosecution of sexual violence, cybercrime and human trafficking.
In addition to focusing on creating jobs, Gansler also hopes to raise the minimum wage, enhance mass transit, narrow the minority achievement gap in schools and help ex-offenders re-enter society through skills training.
“My campaign — and my service as governor — will be built on meeting the needs of the people,” he said. “Not the establishment. Not the special interests.”
Lt. Gov. Brown has also spoken about making education, jobs and health care his priorities.
Gansler released a gubernatorial campaign video via Twitter on Thursday, Sept. 19, ahead of his official announcement (watch on jewishtimes.com).
While cyber security is a big issue for Gansler, his spokesman said this video, which is posted on YouTube, shows social media in a positive light.
“There’s an acknowledgement that social media and online platforms are incredibly valuable tools for getting out your message,” Bob Wheelock, Gansler’s spokeman, said.
The video is an effort to try to reach a broad audience and a younger audience, he added.
The video starts with a segment on Charm City Lacrosse, an organization started five years ago by Gansler as a program for inner-city youth who wouldn’t necessarily have the opportunity to play the sport. A participant says “Coach Doug” was encouraging and helped instill confidence in the players.
The video features testimonials from police, domestic-violence advocates and elected officials. It talks about how Gansler changed the way the court system handles domestic violence, his record in marriage equality (he was the first elected official in Maryland to endorse it), cyber security and his going after predatory lenders. It ends with Gansler talking about jobs, helping working- and middle-class Marylanders and ensuring children have equal education opportunities.
“I think that’s what government’s supposed to do: to help create a level playing field so all people in Maryland will have access and the opportunity to excel or to reach their potential,” he said.