Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler formally launched his bid for candidacy in the 2014 Democratic primary for governor Tuesday in Rockville.
"I'm not our candidate if you want the status quo,” Gansler told supporters during a during a rally across the street from the Montgomery County Judicial Center. “I never just got along to get along."
Gansler has officially entered what’s expected to be a competitive primary. Democrats Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and state Del. Heather Mizeur, of Montgomery County, have already made announcements.
On Tuesday, Gansler emphasized reducing the academic achievement gap—which he called “our biggest moral stain”—and said increasing Maryland’s minimum wage would be his first act as governor, if he were elected.
Speaking broadly, Gansler also said job creation would be his number one priority as governor.
"I want to lead. I want to work with you. I want to make a difference—and that begins and ends with jobs,” Gansler said.
Prior to serving as Attorney General, Gansler was Montgomery County’s State’s Attorney and was an Assistant United States Attorney during President Bill Clinton’s time in office.
He talked about his work helping victims of domestic violence, environmental efforts and consumer protection efforts that targeted alcohol energy drink makers that marketed to teens.
Gansler was speaking against the backdrop of large red political posters and was flanked by his family—wife Laura Leedy Gansler and younger son Will Gansler—and Maryland Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery County), Chief Deputy Attorney General Kay Winfree and Jesse Singh, who is a community leader and supporter.
In opening remarks, Madaleno said he’s benefited from Gansler's "often unfiltered candor." Gansler endorsed same-sex marriage when it was an unpopular idea, years before Maryland made it legal.
“He put is career on the line,” said Madaleno, who is an openly gay lawmaker.
“If it weren't for Doug's embrace of our families,” Madaleno said, “we would continue to be second-class citizens.”
Gansler, who has not yet named a running mate, said the Rockville stop was the first of several set up throughout Maryland.
"We chose to hold the very first of our 17 announcement stops over the next week here in the shadow of the courthouse in Montgomery County,” Gansler said, “because this is a symbol, in my view, of what I'd like to be all about, which is standing for justice, standing for fairness, standing up for the hard-working people of Maryland."