Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown won the Democratic nomination in the race to succeed Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), the Associated Press reports.
Brown emerged from a field of candidates that also included Attorney General Doug Gansler and state Del. Heather Mizeur. He had held a commanding lead in the polls throughout the race and had picked up endorsements from much of Maryland's Democratic political establishment, including O'Malley, so his Tuesday evening win read as more of a coronation than a surprise.
Gansler had tried to tie Brown to the state's troubled rollout of its online insurance exchange, since Brown oversaw the Affordable Care Act's implementation. However, Gansler's strategy proved unsuccessful, as the state's voters ultimately didn't blame Brown for the website's structural problems. Gansler did get Brown to admit during a candidate debate that he should have taken a more active role in guiding the exchange's development.
Brown is widely expected to be Maryland's next governor, given the state's strong Democratic tendencies. A November win would be a historic one: Brown would be the state's first black governor.