Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Friday declined to say whether he would endorse a presidential run by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
“I’m not trying to be evasive, let me tell you this, there’s one election right now, for obvious reasons, that I am focused on almost 99.99 percent of my waking hours and that’s the general election Nov. 4, 2014, and I think the people of Maryland deserve that,” Brown said in a phone interview on Friday.
Brown is facing O’Malley-weary voters in an attempt to become the first lieutenant governor in Maryland’s history to gain a promotion to Government House via the ballot box.
His Republican opponent, Larry Hogan, has continued to press Brown on taxes and economic issues, saying that a Brown administration would simply be a continuation of O’Malley’s economic policies.
“I’m sure that he would be the first person to support an O’Malley presidential run, if he would come out and say he is running,” Hannah Marr, Larry Hogan’s spokeswoman, said. “I think he might be the only person in Maryland that would actually support the governor’s run for president.”
O’Malley is weighing a presidential run where he could face former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who in recent weeks has signaled she is considering running again.
This may put Brown in a tight spot.
Brown enjoyed an early endorsement from O’Malley in May during the gubernatorial primary.
Hillary Clinton was scheduled to attend a Brown fundraiser at the end of last month but sent former President Bill Clinton in her place. Chelsea Clinton had days before given birth to her first child.
“Given the high stakes of November’s election, everyone’s focus should be on 2014. That’s certainly where Governor O’Malley’s focus is,” said Lis Smith, spokeswoman for O’Malley’s O’Say Can You See PAC.
Since the beginning of August, O’Malley has traveled across the country helping fundraise for Democratic candidates in Florida, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and in key early primary states Iowa and New Hampshire – trips that also help raise his national profile.
A recent Baltimore Sun poll conducted by OpinionWorks in Annapolis showed that almost 60 percent of Maryland voters would not support an O’Malley presidential run.
By Lejla Sarcevic