Four Maryland superdelegates said they would back Sen. Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination on the University of Maryland campusMonday afternoon.
Maryland Democratic Chairman Michael Cryor and Vice Chairwoman Lauren Glover made their support official in the Prince George's Room of the Stamp Student Union. They were joined by former Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D), who was selected as an add-on delegate by the state party Saturday and Greenbelt attorney Karren Pope-Onwukwe, who has long supported Obama.
The announcement leaves the top officials in the state Democratic party at odds with Gov. Martin O'Malley, who supports Sen. Hillary Clinton for the nomination.
But Glover rejected the idea that the split among Maryland Democrats or the protracted battle between Clinton and Obama would hurt the party.
"I think at the end of the day, people are going to realize that this country has to move in a different direction," Glover said, "and at the end of the day they're going to see that the Democratic candidate is best able to move the country out of the doldrums it is in now."
Still, Cryor expressed some concern that the uncertainty of the primary race could hurt the Democrats' chances in the general election and said he supports National Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean's call for superdelegates to make up their minds.
"The longer you go on and you extend this, [the] more vulnerable you are to something going awfully wrong," Cryor said. "We've obviously gone longer than we thought we would without a sense of where we're going."
Cryor and Glover both said Obama won their support with his ability to get voters behind his message of change.
"I'm getting letters from people who are middle age, who have never taken politics seriously, who have never thought their voice made a difference," Glover said. "And they feel very empowered by Senator Obama."
She also said Obama's lead in the popular vote and his overwhelming 60 percent to 37 percent victory in Maryland's Democratic primary helped sway her.
Monday's announcement gives Obama a total of seven of Maryland's 27 superdelegates. Nine have pledged support for Sen. Hillary Clinton.