This story was updated and corrected at 6:30 p.m. on June 24, 2014. An explanation follows the story.
Montgomery County teachers union officials said Tuesday that gubernatorial candidate Douglas Gansler’s campaign is handing out rotten apples.
The Montgomery County Education Association sought an injunction with the Montgomery County Circuit Court after it discovered Gansler’s campaign was handing out fliers that union officials say are similar in shape and wording to its “apple ballot.”
Union president Doug Prouty said a county judge told him Tuesday that he would not grant a temporary restraining order but would schedule a hearing on whether the Gansler campaign’s flier violated the union’s trademarks.
Tom Israel, the union’s executive director, said the union has trademarked their flier’s apple shape and the phrase “teachers recommend.”
The flier the Gansler campaign handed out looks like an apple and includes the phrase “supported by teachers across Montgomery County.”
Israel said the union sent a letter to Gansler’s campaign on Monday regarding the union’s trademarks after hearing that such fliers might be distributed.
The union distributes its apple ballot to show voters which candidates it has endorsed.
The teachers’ union has endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in the race for governor, not Gansler, and union officials say the fliers are also misleading.
“This strikes me as a blatant attempt to deceive the voters,” Prouty said.
Gansler is running against Brown and Del. Heather Mizeur in Tuesday’s Democratic primary election.
Katie Hill, the communications director for the Gansler campaign, said she had no comment regarding the “legal aspect of it and what’s going on in court.”
“This is basically a manufactured stunt from the same union bosses that have pumped close to a million dollars into Anthony Brown’s campaign,” she said.
Hill said the campaign started distributing the apple-shaped fliers on Tuesday and plans to continue doing so until polls close at 8 p.m.
A previous version of the story incorrectly stated that the union has trademarked the format of its apple ballot. The union has trademarked the ballot’s apple shape and the phrase “teachers recommend.”