Gansler supporter criticizes his campaign ad but says she still backs him

'I hate this part of politics,' delegate says

  • Del. Kathleen Dumais
Del. Kathleen Dumais (Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore…)
June 16, 2014|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

Del. Kathleen Dumais said today that she continues to support Douglas F. Gansler for governor, but has strongly registered her disappointment with Gansler’s campaign over a television ad she believes misleads the public about his primary opponent Anthony G. Brown.

In the state attorney general’s ad, a woman identified as “Anne” says she was sexually abused when she was 13. Looking at the camera, she says Brown -- the front-runner in the June 24 Democratic primary -- “went back on his word” to support sex abuse victims.

The ad notes that Brown, who served in the House before becoming lieutenant governor, was the only delegate to vote in 2003 against legislation extending the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims to sue their abusers for damages. 

Brown has said -- and Dumais agrees – that he voted against the legislation as a protest because he considered it too weak.

“It truly was  a protest vote,” Dumais, a Montgomery County Democrat, said in an interview. “I know because he was on the Judiciary Committee and I was on the Judiciary Committee."

“I hate this part of politics, always have,” Dumais said of the ad, running in the Washington market. “I was disappointed Doug went in this direction. I haven’t heard back from (Gansler’s campaign) but I did send them text messages.”

Dumais also said: “I have been an early supporter and I absolutely still support Doug.”

Brown’s campaign issued a news release quoting Dumais and another Gansler supporter, Del. Ben Barnes, among others, expressing their objections  to the ad.

“I don't think anyone will believe the Lt. Governor supports child molesters,” the release quotes Barnes as saying. “I support Doug Gansler because of his record as Attorney General.  I think the campaign would do better to keep to those themes that demonstrate his record.”

Barnes did not immediately return telephone messages.

Gansler’s campaign is standing by the ad.

"Anthony Brown is using selected advocates to denigrate the horrific story of abuse suffered by the woman in our ad and to cover up his own failure to keep his word to her and to Maryland's sex abuse victims who need a true champion, not an election-year phony," Gansler spokeswoman Katie Hill said.

Dumais said she was placed in an awkward position when Brown’s campaign contacted her. She said she chose to cooperate and tell campaign officials what she remembered about the 2003 vote.

“They knew this was something I knew about, so they called and asked,” Dumais said.

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