Maryland's Attorney General Douglas Gansler told campaign volunteers that his rival in next year's Democratic gubernatorial primary, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, is relying on his race to get elected.
The Washington Post reports that the comments were captured on a recording of a July 15 meeting in Annapolis provided to the newspaper by someone not employed by either campaign.
On the recording, Gansler says Brown's "campaign slogan is 'Vote for me, I want to be the first African American governor of Maryland.''' He calls that a "laudable goal,'' but says Brown needs to back that up with accomplishments.
Gansler's campaign didn't dispute the comments, but accused Brown's campaign of recording the comments illegally.
"I think there's one campaign that stands to gain from that and that's Anthony Brown's campaign," spokesman for the Gansler campaign Doug Thornell said. "They've been sending trackers to campaign events all the time."
Gansler spoke with News4 Tuesday.
"I don't get involved in this kind of dirty politics," Gansler said. "Having trackers sent to my meetings... If Anthony Brown wants to know, he could pick up the phone and call me. They don't need to commit a felony to do it."
Brown's campaign called the comments "out of touch with Maryland values." Campaign manager Justin Schall denied any dirty tricks regarding the recordings.
"The only one that’s talking about race in this race is Doug Gansler, and he’s insulted an Iraq war veteran and he should apologize," Schall told News4 Tuesday.
Gansler said he will not be apologizing for making the comments.
"I don't know why I would apologize," Gansler said. "The transcript is absolutely clear."
The third candidate seeking the nomination is Heather Mizeur. If elected, she will be the first openly gay governor of Maryland.