O'Malley lavishes praise on Brown

Prince George's delegate is a leading running-mate contender

December 08, 2005|By JENNIFER SKALKA AND DAVID NITKIN | JENNIFER SKALKA AND DAVID NITKIN,SUN REPORTERS

Without confirming that the deal is done, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley lavished praise yesterday on the leading contender to be his running mate, Del. Anthony G. Brown of Prince George's County, saying that Brown's roots and experience in state government would be an asset to a Democratic ticket.

"The overwhelming math of Prince George's County, and its size and influence in the Democratic primary as well as in the general election, has led people to mention Anthony's name time and time again," O'Malley, a candidate for governor, said in an interview.

Vibrant and telegenic, with accomplished wives and young families, O'Malley and Brown are viewed by party insiders as rising stars. O'Malley said he sees no downside to running with Brown, a Harvard-educated lawyer who served in Iraq, as his lieutenant governor.

"Anthony Brown is a good guy," O'Malley said. "He's a person who is unintimidated by the complexities of policy. He is a very, very smart guy. He cares passionately about public service and effective governance, and he has been, I think, a very effective majority whip."

O'Malley campaign officials have been tight-lipped in confirming details of their selection process and refused to confirm that Brown is their choice. An announcement could come as soon as next week.

Brown could not be reached for comment.

O'Malley said that he believes his administrative experience is complemented nicely by Brown's policy background and work in state government. "To be able to combine those two experiences in an administration that could work for progress in Maryland, I think that could be really exciting," the mayor said. " ... One of the discomforts I think a lot of people have had over these last three years is the inability to get anything done, and to work with the legislature. So it could be really exciting for governing to have somebody who has an understanding of local government administration and also someone that is unintimidated by the complexities of health care policy and the other issues he has had to work on."

O'Malley, also an attorney, conceded that of the two men, Brown was probably a better student.

"He is much smarter," he said. "I always try to surround myself with people who are much smarter than I am. Ask my wife. I am unintimidated by people smarter than me."

Former Gov. Harry R. Hughes, who has been helping in the campaign's selection process, said that O'Malley and Brown would "make a good team."

"I think they'd make a very dynamic duo," Hughes said. `They're both very smart. They're articulate, and they handle themselves well. ... They both have very good records of public service."

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