Perhaps the two races garnering the most attention statewide are the June 24th Democratic primaries for governor and attorney general. The environment, the minimum wage, education, the Maryland health exchange, and marijuana are among the issues of great interest in the 2014 race for governor, with three major candidates, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Del. Heather Mizeur, and Attorney General Doug Gansler.

With less than a month before the primary, the general consensus seems to be that the race is Brown’s to lose; however, the inaugural Maryland Poll by St. Mary’s College of Maryland suggests the race still remains unsettled.

The poll has Brown with 27 percent support, followed by Gansler at 11 percent and Mizeur with 8 percent. However, a majority 54 percent expressed no preference.

Maryland Health Exchange and Mizeur has garnered attention because of her staunchly progressive – or liberal depending upon one’s sensibilities – campaign, which includes her embrace of a living wage, patient-assisted suicide and a moratorium on fracking.

But, neither Gansler nor Mizeur have gained significant ground on Brown in any of the major polls taken since the beginning of the year.

The three major candidates participated in the first televised gubernatorial debate on May 7. The event – moderated by the host of NBC’s Meet the Press David Gregory – took place at the University of Maryland at College Park and was co- hosted by the school and Bowie State University. But, there has been a vigorous debate over the gubernatorial debates themselves within the community and between the candidates vying to establish the direction of the state for the next several years.

Many were outraged the initial debate was not broadcast in the Greater Baltimore viewing area (it was broadcasted live by WRC-TV in Washington) excluding what was once unequivocally the most important jurisdiction in the state. Another televised debate with the three candidates is set for June 2, sponsored by Maryland Public Television, which is expected to be broadcast statewide.

However, a third televised debate, at WBFF (Channel 45) in Baltimore, will probably only include two of the major candidates, Mizeur and Gansler. The Brown campaign says the Lt. Gov. will not participate.

According to the Brown campaign a radio debate between the gubernatorial candidates (a date has yet to be determined) will be broadcast in the Baltimore area by Radio One station WOLB (1010 AM) moderated by former state senator Larry Young, host of, “The Larry Young Morning Show.”

The battle to succeed Gansler as Maryland Attorney General includes Prince George’s County Del. Aisha Braveboy, Baltimore County Del. Jon Cardin, Montgomery County Sen. Brian Frosh and Montgomery County Del. Bill Frick.

A poll published by the Washington Post in February had Cardin with a lead over his Democratic rivals at 21 percent support.

However, Braveboy the chair of the state’s Legislative Black Caucus trailed Cardin by single digits with 12 percent with 40 percent of those polled offering no opinion. The poll shows Frosh with 5 percent support and Frick following with 4 percent.

If Braveboy were to win she would be the state’s first attorney general of color, as well as the first female to hold the office. She has focused on the lack of diversity within the Maryland State Police, the foreclosure crisis, and the plight of the state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Cardin, the nephew of Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin has focused on modernizing crime fighting throughout the state, specifically a stronger, law enforcement focus on cyber crime.

Frosh, chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee since 2003, characterizes himself as one of the leaders on the implementation of Maryland’s landmark gun control legislation, the Maryland Firearm Safety Act.

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor