REPUBLICAN Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, the former Kent...


September 12, 1992

REPUBLICAN Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, the former Kent Countyteacher and house painter now representing the Eastern Shore, wants to stay in Washington at least two more years. But over coffee at the Pasadena Dunkin' Donuts recently he talked almost as much about leaving public life as staying in it.

Mr. Gilchrest is engaged in one of the toughest races in the nation against Democratic Rep. Tom McMillen, whose Anne Arundel County district has been split apart. He had gone to Pasadena -- part of his new district -- to meet Robert Schaeffer, Anne Arundel County tax rebel and outspoken opponent of the political status quo. When Mr. Schaeffer asked Mr. Gilchrest to become the first Maryland politician to sign a pledge to support term limits, the congressman didn't think twice.

"I could go home right now and not miss any of this," he said.

Though it has received relatively little publicity, there is a national movement afoot to set term limits, said Mr. Schaeffer, coordinator of Marylanders for Term Limits. This fall, constituents in more than a dozen states will vote on ballot initiatives restricting the number of years congressmen and senators can stay in office.

Maryland is not one of them, because it is one of the few states whose constitution prohibits citizens from putting initiatives on the ballot. The best local term limit supporters can hope for at this point is to get as many candidates and elected officials as possible to commit themselves, in writing, to leave office after a certain number of years.

Mr. Gilchrest says he can't understand why politicians would want to do any different.

In politics, he says, "You can throw your life away. . . You get thrown around like a wet rag. There's a hollow behind my house in Turner's Creek, and I go fishing there with my kids. Would I rather be there, watching the bald eagles and the herons, or breathing the smog in Washington, D.C.?"

Mr. Gilchrest picked up his pen and scrawled his name twice. "I don't have any trouble signing this," he said.

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THE REPUBLICAN bashing of Hillary Clinton and her views may not be having much local impact. A cashier at a small city eating establishment was asked about her reaction to the GOP's criticism of the Democratic nominee's wife. "I don't see anything wrong with Hillary or her ideas," she responded. "She's got other problems that only women can understand."

Our inquisitive correspondent asked what they might be. "Well, she is a little bottom heavy. And it was a real mistake for her to dye her hair a light color and not her eyebrows."

Speaking of hair, a local hairdresser said she is fascinated by Marilyn Quayle's hair. "It is certainly obvious she is a conservative lady," she told one of her customers.

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