Jessica M. Karmasek Dec. 13, 2013, 8:30pm

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (Legal Newsline) -- Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler has agreed to let the state Board of Elections seek outside counsel on a fundraising issue that could impact one of his primary opponents.

At issue is whether Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown's running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, can raise funds during the state's legislative session, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

Under Maryland law, statewide officeholders like Gansler and Brown cannot raise money during the session.

State lawmakers, including Gansler's running mate, state Delegate Jolene Ivey, also are prohibited from fundraising.

State election officials believe Ulman can continue to raise money during the session, as long it is obtained for a separate campaign account.

However, Gansler and others disagree, arguing Ulman is considered part of the same gubernatorial ticket.

Election officials asked to seek outside counsel on the issue, saying it would be "unfair" to put Gansler in a conflicted position.

"There is no conflict of interest in giving this advice, and we are confident that we would be able to provide accurate, objective advice, as we always do," David Paulson, a spokesman for Gansler, told the Post.

"However, given that this question would appear to affect the current attorney general directly, the [office] has decided it would be prudent to allow [the election board] to retain outside legal counsel."

Brown, Gansler and state Delegate Heather Mizeur, all Democrats, are looking to take over for current Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is term-limited.

Maryland's primary is June 24, 2014.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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