More jobs, higher wages and student achievement topped Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler’s priorities as he hit the campaign trail Tuesday to be Maryland’s next governor.
Addressing a crowd holding red “Gansler Democrat for Governor” signs in one hand and Good Humor ice cream bars in the other — while trying not to sink in the oddly sopping wet grass — Gansler, 50, promised to not accept things the way they are and detailed his vision to make Maryland proud.
“I’m not your candidate if you want the status quo,” Gansler (D) told those gathered in Rockville’s Courthouse square. “My No. 1 priority as governor will be doing what needs to be done to create jobs and build an economy that delivers for the middle class.”
If the General Assembly does not raise the minimum wage in 2014, Gansler promised it would be his first act as governor.
Calling the achievement gap the state’s “biggest moral stain,” he promised that ensuring minority students achieve as well as their classmates will be one of his most important causes.
“We will take this on,” he said. “We will get this done.”
Gansler chose the shadow of Montgomery County’s courthouses as his first campaign stop, saying it is where his career in public service began.
“This is a symbol, in my view, of what I like to be all about, which is standing for justice, standing for fairness, standing up for the hardworking people of Maryland,” he said.
Touting his support of Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign and his role in creating the state’s Civil Rights department, hiring Asian-American prosecutors, adding African-American and Latino prosecutors and promoting women to senior leadership, Gansler promised to craft an administration that “from top to bottom, will unapologetically be diverse.”
“I’m not worried about conventional wisdom. I’m not willing to accept the way things are and play it safe,” he said. “I want to lead, I want to work with you and I want to make a difference.”
Before others took up the fight, Gansler was battling for marriage equality, said state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Dist. 18) of Kensington, who helped introduce the attorney general.
No matter where someone is from, what god they believe in or who they love, Gansler believes no one should be left behind or left out, said Jesse Singh, a Maryland businessman from Anne Arundel County.
If elected, Gansler would be the first Montgomery County resident elected governor.
But so would Del. Heather Mizeur (D-Dist. 20) of Takoma Park, who also is seeking the party’s nomination.
In addition to Mizeur, Gansler faces Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) in the June 2014 Democratic primary.