Above: Michelle Obama and Anthony Brown at Monday's rally in Baltimore.
By Alexis Webb
First Lady Michelle Obama urged Maryland residents to get out and vote for Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for governor Monday afternoon at a downtown Baltimore rally in the final hours of the campaign.
“We need to do everything in our power to make Anthony Brown the next Governor of Maryland,” said Obama.
Obama’s speech was part of a last minute push by Maryland Democrats to get out and vote, particularly African American voters in a majority black city. There were also robocalls from Michelle Obama Monday night to homes with Democratic voters, and a radio ads for Brown by President Obama over the weekend delivering the same message.
“If you stay home, we will just be letting the others make the decisions for us,” said Michelle Obama. “I know we can do this.”
“Make a plan and remind folks that voting couldn’t be easier…every single vote counts,” the first lady said.
The rally also included go-to-the-poll speeches by members of Maryland’s top elected Democrats urging voters to get to the polls.
“Others are counting on us to be complacent,” said U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
“You don’t know how many in the Republican Party are waiting for us not to show up tomorrow…we are going to stand up for our state,” said Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
Brown currently holds a modest lead over Republican Larry Hogan in the polls, although the Maryland Democratic Party outnumbers Republicans 2 to 1 in the state.
Democrats have spent millions of dollars trying to get voters to the polls, with the Democratic Governors Association spending more than $1.25 million in Maryland for Brown, and various unions also buying their own ads in support of Brown.
Brown needs Democratic turnout
Democratic voter participation is imperative to Brown winning. President Obama endorsed Brown at a Prince Georges County rally two weeks ago attended by thousands in the largest majority African American county in Maryland.
“This election is a clear choice,” said Brown told the crowd at Baltimore’s War Memorial near City Hall. “ We just have to do our parts…bring everyone you know.”
Hundreds stood in lines stretching more than three blocks to hear Michelle Obama endorse Brown.
One rally participant, Peggy Marvis, said, ““I am here to endorse Anthony Brown, but Michelle being here is quite enticing.”
Participants believed the first lady’s appearance the day before election will drive voters to the polls.
“I am confident her appearance will speak volumes,” a state employee from the city said.