04/08/2014 03:59 pm ET

Bill Clinton Endorses Anthony Brown In Heated Democratic Primary

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Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's (D) early endorsement of Hillary Clinton as she sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 appeared to pay dividends Tuesday. Former President Bill Clinton announced that he will support Brown as he seeks the Democratic nomination to be Maryland's governor.

In a statement, Clinton called Brown “uniquely qualified to lead Maryland." Brown's campaign said Clinton would campaign with the candidate in May.

“Anthony Brown’s lengthy record of public service to our nation and the state of Maryland is a powerful testament to his character and leadership,” Clinton said. “As Lt. Governor, Anthony has worked to create thousands of jobs, to make quality health care more accessible and affordable, to secure passage of some of the nation’s toughest gun safety laws, to protect women and children from domestic violence, and to make record investments in Maryland’s public schools."

Brown faces Attorney General Douglas Gansler and state Del. Heather Mizeur in June's Democratic primary to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who can't run again due to term limits.

In contrast to Brown, Gansler frequently cites his early endorsement of President Barack Obama in 2008. Brown stuck with his backing of Hillary Clinton even as Obama, a Harvard Law School classmate of his, picked up steam and went on to win Maryland's presidential primary.

Much of Maryland's higher-level Democratic establishment has already endorsed Brown, including O’Malley and both Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.

If elected, Brown would be Maryland’s first African-American governor.



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