Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Pictured at Wild High School Party

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler’s rocky start to the governor’s race just got worse.

National Journal
Kevin Brennan
Oct. 24, 2013, 4:35 a.m.

Mary­land At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Doug Gansler is quite the party crash­er. The Demo­crat­ic gubernat­ori­al can­did­ate, who is at odds with Gov. Mar­tin O’Mal­ley in his primary battle against Lt. Gov. An­thony Brown, is pic­tured in Thursday’s Bal­timore Sun at a wild high school party.

Gansler is stand­ing in the cen­ter of the pho­to­graph with his cell­phone out in a crowded room filled with shirt­less, dan­cing teens.

The photo, pos­ted to In­s­tagram by one of the at­tendees, was taken at a Delaware beach house that Gansler and oth­er par­ents ren­ted for their chil­dren for a week to cel­eb­rate their gradu­ation from the Landon School in Beth­esda. Gansler told the Bal­timore Sun that he stopped by the house for a few minutes that night to talk to his son about when they would leave the next morn­ing. Gansler said his son was not drink­ing at the party but that he couldn’t re­mem­ber wheth­er he saw oth­er un­der­age teen­agers con­sum­ing al­co­hol.

“As­sume for pur­poses of dis­cus­sion that there was wide­spread drink­ing at this party,” Gansler told the Sun. “How is that rel­ev­ant to me? “¦ The ques­tion is, do I have any mor­al au­thor­ity over oth­er people’s chil­dren at beach week in an­oth­er state? I say no.”

Gansler, who has served as at­tor­ney gen­er­al since 2007, has pre­vi­ously spoken out against un­der­age drink­ing. Party at­tendees in­ter­viewed by the Sun con­firmed that many of the teen­agers were drink­ing at the house. “I don’t re­mem­ber much, but it was one of the best parties I’ve been to, hands down,” one an­onym­ous at­tendee told the pa­per.

Thursday’s story is the latest in a string of neg­at­ive head­lines for the gubernat­ori­al hope­ful. Last week, the Wash­ing­ton Post pub­lished a lengthy ac­count of Gansler’s al­legedly in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­ha­vi­or as a pas­sen­ger in and driver of state-is­sued vehicles. The story, which in­cluded de­tails about the Demo­crat or­der­ing state troop­ers to speed and run red lights, has gen­er­ated days worth of fol­low-up pieces, in­clud­ing stor­ies in vari­ous pub­lic­a­tions across the state on Wed­nes­day re­port­ing that Gansler paid an over­due speed­ing tick­et that was part of the ini­tial Post story. Gansler also took heat in Au­gust when the Post pub­lished com­ments he made to sup­port­ers claim­ing that Brown, his chief rival for the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion, was re­ly­ing on his race in the cam­paign.

Early polling shows Brown with a double-di­git lead over Gansler in the primary race.