Annapolis Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins plans to run for re-election in 1993, and he's holding a fund-raiser April 2 to get a head start.
"The only thing that would stop me is if my doctor told me not to run,"said Hopkins, 65. "But medically, I have no problems."
The theme of the event is decidedly patriotic. Titled "Red, White& Blues," the event is billed as a celebration of the success of Operation Desert Storm and signs that the state and local economy is improving.
Hopkins could net as much as $10,000 from the event, moneyhe said he will use to begin his 1993 re-election campaign. He held a $100-a-head fund-raiser last year to retire an $8,000 campaign debt left over from the 1989 mayoral election. Hopkins said he won't hold another fund-raiser until 1993.
"When I first ran for mayor, I was all by myself," Hopkins said. "But there were certain things I needed at the outset, like printing, that I had to pay for. When I start a campaign again, the initial need for funds will be there. It's not to make a killing."
Hopkins said the idea for the event came from City Administrator Michael Mallinoff and Democrat Bill Amos, both of whom managed his election campaign.
The fund-raiser will be held at the Annapolis Marriott. At 6:30 p.m., up to 100 business people will pay $100 to attend a special "VIP reception" in the hotel's Penthouse Restaurant. The main event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the main ballroom. Up to 350 people will pay $25 to attend the main event only.
A letter announcing the event was mailed out last week. It was written by Amos but signed by Hopkins. "What a great time it is to be an American!" the letter proclaims.
"As I sit to write you this letter, Operation Desert Storm has met its objectives in record time -- requiring only 100 elapsed hours of ground action with a minimal loss of American lives."
Hopkins said the letter wasn't intended to capitalize on the war, but said he realized after the letter was sent that it might be taken that way. He said he didn't see the letter beforeit was mailed -- he gave Amos his signature on a blank piece of paper.
"It's because I'm patriotic," Hopkins said. "Red, white and blue were my campaign colors. I'm not trying to capitalize. If I was, I would capitalize on my World War II combat record. I realized after it came out that it might give the wrong impression. I apologize to anyone if it did. If I could recall that, I would. I probably gave themmore of a free hand than I should have."
"I think people who know Al Hopkins know it's his nature not to capitalize on this, but to celebrate the success of our troops and their safe return," Amos said.
Amos called the event "opulence at an affordable price." Diners atthe main event will feast on ham, chicken tenders tempura with raspberry dipping sauce, Swedish meatballs, iced shrimp and scallops wrapped in bacon. They will watch a video of Annapolis and Hopkins' accomplishments, and listen to music from a blues band, Paul Reed Smith andthe Nighthawks Rhythm Section.
"They're pretty awesome," Amos said. "We're looking at bringing more young people into the party, broadening the base."