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U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer and state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller joined an array of Southern Maryland officials Monday to endorse Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown for governor at a campaign lunch in Waldorf.

Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) offered Brown (D) his “strongest endorsement,” stating that he and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) have composed “Maryland's Dream Team” since first winning election in 2006.

A former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, current colonel in the Army Reserve and Harvard Law School graduate, Brown won election to two terms in the House of Delegates — during which he served a tour of duty in Iraq — before joining O'Malley's ticket.

“If you drew up a script for somebody you would want to be a governor, you couldn't write a better script than this man's life,” said Miller (D-Calvert, Prince George's).

Brown's cumulative life experiences make him “extraordinarily ready and able” to serve as governor, Hoyer said.

“We need our next governor to be able to get to work right away. No on-the-job training,” Hoyer added. “Get to work right away, be on the forefront, be experienced, be knowledgeable and have a record of performance.”

The host of elected officials, union representatives and party activists in attendance at the Hilton Garden Inn in Waldorf included all five Charles County commissioners, Del. Sally Y. Jameson (D-Charles), Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey (D), St. Mary's commissioners' President Jack Russell (D) and Chesapeake Beach Mayor Bruce Wahl (D).

“It really speaks to the support that the lieutenant governor and soon-to-be governor has here in Southern Maryland,” Charles County commissioners' Vice President Reuben B. Collins II (D) said.

Brown credited the O'Malley administration with living up to its campaign pledges to improve education, reduce crime, clean up the environment, expand access to health care and recover jobs lost during the recession. He vowed “to build on those successes, to take on the next challenges, to make Maryland better, and to make Maryland better for more Marylanders.”

“This is a great state, and I'm running because I think that it can be better,” he said.

Brown rattled off an expansion of the Gov. Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge linking Calvert and St. Mary's counties, a light rail project linking White Plains and the Branch Avenue Metro station in Marlow Heights, the College of Southern Maryland's Center for Nuclear Energy Training and the Charles County Innovation Center as key infrastructure investments “that create opportunity, that create jobs.”

He also placed a priority on continued education investments, “and strengthening those schools, those low-performing schools, wherever they exist.

“Whether you're educated in Charles County or Chevy Chase, you deserve access to the best education that money can buy,” he said.

After the lunch, Brown called Southern Maryland “a very vibrant and diverse set of communities” with “a fast-growing economy, fast-growing communities.”

“It's an attractive place. It's what makes Maryland strong,” he added.

State Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton (D-Charles) described Brown as a pragmatic public official who, as lieutenant governor, repeatedly worked with the legislature to craft consensus legislation on issues ranging from banking to health care.

“The thing that he measures so high with is his ability to bring people together, that he can see all sides, and what you end up with is a fair product,” Middleton said.

Del. John L. Bohanan Jr. (D-St. Mary's), who served alongside Brown for the majority of his two terms in the legislature, called the lieutenant governor a “significant leader” in improving education, cleaning up the environment and fostering economic development, particularly in working with the state's federal facilities and military installations.

“We have a unique opportunity. We have less than a year to make it happen” before the 2014 primary, Bohanan said.

Hoyer praised Brown's choice of running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, “who understands at a very young age the operations of government, the relationship of [the counties] to the state.”

Together, Brown and Ulman “will bring the kind of leadership to Annapolis that we need to continue to expand,” Hoyer said. “They will continue to pursue a path of growth and opportunity that brings jobs and strengthens our communities here in Southern Maryland, and throughout the state.”

jnewman@somdnews.com