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Rawlings-Blake endorses Brown for governor

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has formally endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown for governor, a vote of confidence that was billed by Brown’s campaign as a “major endorsement.”

In a statement released Monday, Rawlings-Blake said she was endorsing Brown because “he understands that Baltimore city is a strong economic engine for the state and he stands up for the hard working families here in Baltimore.”

“Anthony Brown knows that we must continue building and growing the economic development partnerships between local government, state government, and private businesses – small businesses and others – to keep creating jobs in all of our neighborhoods,” Rawlings-Blake said.

At a press conference staged at the Avenue Bakery on Pennsylvania Avenue in the city, Brown and running mate Ken Ulman, the Howard County executive, said small businesses were critical to Maryland’s economy. After formally receiving Rawlings-Blake’s endorsement, Brown and Ulman hosted a lunch for 80 women business leaders from around the region.

Brown has been Gov. Martin O’Malley’s lieutenant for more than six years. Before being elected governor, O’Malley was mayor of Baltimore.

Brown is expected to fare well in Prince George’s County, which he represented in the House of Delegates from 1999 until 2007. Baltimore is seen as another critical jurisdiction for the Democratic hopeful.

Ulman, a popular executive in Howard County, could help in Baltimore County. Ulman’s wife is from Reisterstown, and the county executive has occasionally met with community organizations in the county over the last several years, when he was considering his own run for governor.