Ever-hopeful Pierpont sets sights on U.S. Senate 'I feel confident,' says city Republican

December 03, 1991|By Tom Bowman

Ross Z. Pierpont, a retired surgeon and perennial candidate, yesterday set his sights on the 1992 Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

The 74-year-old Baltimore resident, who last year lost the Republican gubernatorial nomination to William S. Shepard, kicked off his Senate campaign with appearances in three locations.

At a vacant lot in Bethesda, Mr. Pierpont highlighted Maryland's depressed economy. At Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore, where he was chief of surgery for 26 years until 1986, he advocated affordable health care.

At a final appearance in Annapolis, the candidate advocated a strong defense and criticized Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., for her opposition to sending troops to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Ms. Mikulski, of Baltimore, is seeking a second six-year term.

In an interview later, Mr. Pierpont said he favored removing "the shackles" from business that he said prevents the creation of new jobs, including the capital gains tax, which he said should be lowered or eliminated.

The GOP candidate also pushed affordable health care, which he said could be provided by preventing --"micromanagement" from Washington and granting states greater flexibility to work with hospitals, insurance companies and unions to create a health care plan.

Embracing the growing term limitation movement, Mr. Pierpont said congressional representation should be limited to 12 years.

He joins four announced candidates for the GOP nomination: Alan L. Keyes, Joseph I. Cassilly, Stuart Hopkins and John Berry.

Mr. Pierpont said he has run for office "nine or 10" times over the years, including bids for Baltimore mayor, congressman and most recently governor. Mr. Pierpont was defeated by Mr. Shepard, 53 percent to 47 percent, in a bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination last year.

"We're going to do it this time," said Mr. Pierpont. "I feel confident."

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