OCEAN CITY — In a speech that strongly hinted at his ambitions, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown said Saturday that Maryland’s most pressing challenge is the “persistent gaps and disparities” among its diverse communities in health care, education and employment.
In an address in Ocean City, Brown (D) straddled his dual roles as loyal understudy to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and as a politician who is increasingly candid about his desire to succeed O’Malley after the 2014 elections.
And in an interview, he acknowledged that he is “exploring running for governor,” moving a step beyond what he has said publicly before.
Brown’s speech was delivered at an annual summer conference of the nonpartisan Maryland Association of Counties, which this year drew no fewer than eight potential candidates for governor from both major parties.
“It’s not enough to have the best schools in the country unless every child in Maryland, whether you live in Baltimore City or Columbia, gets a top-flight education,” Brown said, filling a speaking slot at the conference traditionally reserved for the governor. He said that only 50 percent of African American eighth-graders in Maryland are deemed proficient in math, compared with more than 84 percent of white eighth-graders.