A long line of would-be governors

Baltimore Glimpses

August 24, 1993|By GILBERT SANDLER

MANY a would-be governor's hat is now in the ring. But only one of those hats is going to hang in the Governor's Mansion in Annapolis come early 1995.

As for the others, alas! They are the defeated, the almost remembered, the also-rans, even the asterisk or two. They are the ones who never made it.

Go back to 1954. Theodore R. McKeldin won handily. But can you recall his opponent who was also reasonably well known?

He was Harry Clifton Byrd, the ebullient president of the University of Maryland College Park. University president and gubernatorial candidate one day; the next, another defeated also-ran.

In 1958, J. Millard Tawes was elected governor, and of course we remember him well ("Mr. Eastern Sho' ").

But where now are Democratic rivals Morgan C. Amaimo, Joseph A. Phillips and Bruce S. Campbell? Where is Republican superstar James P. S. ("Send us more Japs!") Devereux, who ran against him?

Tawes won again in 1962, defeating Lester Posner and David Hume -- Lester who? David who? As for the Republicans, where are they now: Karla M. E. Balentine? Joseph L. Pavlock? Frank Small Jr.? Runners-up. Also-rans.

The next election in 1966 yielded a rich harvest of the defeated.

Democrats included Andrew Easter, Thomas B. Finan, Charles Luthardt Sr., Ross Z. Pierpont and Carlton R. Sickles.

Republicans included Andrew John Groszner, Louis R. Milio, John Joseph Harbaugh -- and Spiro T. Agnew. By now a name or two is cropping up that we still know in the '90s.

Most of the '70s belonged to Marvin Mandel. He left behind Democrats William Edward Roberts, Milton R. Rothstein, Dan W. Salamone, George Herman Wright and Republicans C. Stanley Blair, Peter James and John C. Webb Jr.

Harry Hughes swept to victory as a "great reformer" in 1978. He knocked into the also-ran category the formidable Blair Lee III, the charismatic Walter Orlinsky and the telegenic Theodore G. Venetoulis -- to say nothing of Republicans Louise Gore and Lawrence J. Hogan.

Mr. Hughes won again in 1982, leaving behind Democrats Harry W. Kelley and John J. Schwartz and Republican Robert Pascal.

Harry J. McGuirk was among the losers, too, but he was different. He was never not famous!

William Donald Schaefer, of course, can't succeed himself, and the speculative field with a little over a year until the primary is as crowded as a sardine can.

The Democrats -- Montgomery County Sen. Mary H. Boergers, Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Prince George's County Executive Parris N. Glendening, Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Dr. Neil Solomon (possibly an independent) -- are sizing up the Republicans -- Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, Anne Arundel County Executive Robert Neall, Del. Ellen R. Sauerbrey and 1990 Republican nominee William S. Shepard.

Only one will be governor. The rest will go into the record books as also-rans.

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