Brown crushes competition in gov primary

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Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown crushed his opponents in the state’s Democratic primary for governor Tuesday evening, virtually securing his chance to become the state's first African-American governor. 

The Associated Press has called the race for Brown, who had 58 percent of the vote with 5 percent of precincts reporting. His closest challenger, Attorney General Douglas Gansler, had 21 percent of the vote, and state Del. Heather Mizeur came in at 19 percent. 

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Polls had long showed Brown with a sizeable lead, but it was an ugly affair for him to get there. Brown and Gansler spent much of the campaign slinging mud, dominating the airwaves with ads attacking each other. Mizeur, who campaigned as the most progressive candidate, lacked the money to compete with her two opponents' ad campaigns but did criticize the negative campaigning from both sides in a brief TV ad campaign of her own. 

Headed into the general election, Brown is the favorite over his eventual GOP nominee. If he succeeds term-limited Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), Brown would be the third African-American governor elected in the nation's history, and the only African-American governor starting in 2015. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), the nation's only current African-American governor, will retire at the end of the year.