By Catherine Pugh,
Special to the AFRO

Anthony Brown, a seasoned veteran of national and state politics who was sworn in as the state’s first Black attorney general Jan. 3 in Annapolis, says he will tackle racial and economic disparities as the state’s 47th attorney general.

“Maryland reflects where America is going,” he said, taking the oath of office in the House of Delegate chamber. “So, what deeply troubles me is the racist and ethnic disparities and inequities that still exist in Maryland, motivated by bias and even overt discrimination in housing, in the marketplace, in the workplace, and in opportunities.”

“Anthony Brown has spent his entire adult life preparing for a moment like this.  He was destined for greatness,” Speaker of the House of Adrienne Jones said at the swearing ceremony.

The Harvard Law School graduate entered politics at the age of 31, when he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1998, representing the 26th district in Prince George’s County until 2007. 

He rose to several leadership positions in the House and was appointed majority whip by former speaker of the House Michael E. Busch. He served on the House Economic Matters and the Judiciary Committees as vice chair.

The West Point graduate, a Gulf war veteran who is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, was decorated with a bronze star for his service in Iran. 

He was elected lieutenant governor in 2005 as  Martin O’Malley was elected governor.  They took office in 2006 and would earn a second four-year term.

 Brown was elected in 2010 chair of the National Lieutenant Governor’s Association.

Brown ran unsuccessfully for governor 2014. In 2016 he won a seat in the United States Congress and served as representative for the 4th congressional district. 

Brown has chosen McLauren Lanham to be chief deputy attorney general but will have the title of chief of staff until she gains admission to the Maryland Bar.   Carolyn Quattrocki who served as deputy attorney general under former attorney general Brian Frosh, will continue in her role and title, while Zenita Wickham Hurley will be appointed chief of the newly created office of equity, policy and engagement. 

At the top of the newly elected Attorney General’s agenda will be asking the General Assembly to pass legislation giving him the power to sue companies and individuals who violate federal or state civil rights laws regarding housing, employment and other violations. Attorneys general in California, District of Columbia and New York have similar authority. 

Brown also says his office will review the autopsies of people who died in the custody of police officers. “We owe it to the families of those who died in police custody to make sure we get to the truth,” said Brown.

Brown is married to Karmen Walker Bailey and has three children. 

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