Brown to stress West's races over Md.

February 27, 1992|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- He captured Maryland's Democratic primary in a personal blitz in 1976. But in 1992, former California Gov. Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown Jr. has decided to largely bypass the Free State for the Western states.

The Democratic candidate, who was slated to campaign in Maryland today and Friday in anticipation of Tuesday's primary, has decided instead to stay out West, shuttling among Washington state, Utah and Colorado, which also holds a primary that day.

"We feel we're doing well in Colorado, and we feel we'll try to concentrate on that for the time being," said Tom Pier, assistant press secretary for the Brown campaign. "He's spending more time there."

"I'm not disappointed. . . . It's a grass-roots campaign. Period," said David Hutchinson, a Baptist minister and Brown supporter who helped coordinate the former governor's 1976 Maryland victory. "The campaign's going really well. People are going to be surprised."

A Mason-Dixon poll taken last weekend showed Mr. Brown running fourth in Maryland behind former Massachusetts Sen. Paul E. Tsongas, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and Nebraska Sen. Bob Kerrey.

And there is other bad news for Mr. Brown on the fund-raising side. The former governor is no longer eligible for federal matching funds, since he finished below 10 percent in two consecutive primaries: New Hampshire and South Dakota. The only way to reverse that is by getting 20 percent in a future primary.

He is hoping that his surprise neck-and-neck showing against Mr. Tsongas in the Maine caucuses will be repeated in Tuesday's Colorado primary, where the former Massachusetts senator is leading in the polls and Mr. Brown is a distant third behind Mr. Clinton.

Mr. Hutchinson, who was busy yesterday putting together phone banks for the candidate, said volunteers and campaign workers are heading into Maryland.

"We're a little disappointed," said Charles Tuzzio, a Brown volunteer in Chestertown who is working with a dozen supporters, including students from Washington College. "We'll miss him but we remain undaunted. The main thing is to get Jerry Brown elected president."

Mr. Tuzzio said supporters made their own campaign signs and brochures after Mr. Brown's California headquarters failed to mail the candidate's political paraphernalia.

Although the Brown literature has not made it to Maryland, Mr. Brown himself is expected on Sunday night to take part in a Democratic presidential forum at the University of Maryland College Park. Only Mr. Kerrey has not confirmed he will attend.

Campaign officials also have told Baltimore homeless activist Bea Gaddy that the candidate will spend Sunday night at her shelter on North Chester Street and help serve a meal at her North Collington Avenue facility on Monday.

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