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Brown is O’Malley’s stand-in, again

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown is getting a taste of what being governor of Maryland might be like.

Brown took the Gov. Martin O’Malley’s seat at Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Public Works. Normally, O’Malley joins Comptroller Peter Franchot and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp on the state’s spending panel.

Franchot said O’Malley was out of town, but administration aides did not confirm his whereabouts.

It was the second time in five days Brown appeared in a role typically reserved for the governor. Saturday, O’Malley’s lieutenant gave the closing speech at the Maryland Association of Counties summer conference.

O’Malley’s absence Wednesday set up a side-by-side pairing of Brown and Franchot, both widely thought to be Democratic candidates for governor when O’Malley’s term expires in two years. The former Baltimore mayor has reached the term-limit for governor and is expected to seek national public office.

Though O’Malley and Franchot have sparred during recent Board of Public Works meetings, Brown and Franchot played nice, for the most part, with Brown at one point politely asking Franchot to table his complaints about Maryland’s slots program until the next meeting.