A gruff vs. folksy race takes shape

THE POLICTICAL GAME

September 22, 1993|By C. Fraser Smith | C. Fraser Smith,Staff Writer

The irrepressible Jack Cade, state senator and budget master nonpareil, may well run for comptroller against Louis L. Goldstein.

Mr. Cade knows the money affairs of Maryland as well as any potential Goldstein foe. Gruff and articulate, the Anne Arundel County Republican would be quite a handful for the 80-year-old, still-able comptroller.

The smart money says the senator wouldn't come close to beating Louie. But he has the sort of truth-telling, cold-shower-and-root-canal bluntness that some voters would find refreshing -- a distinct contrast to the incumbent's softer tones. If he lost -- but helped the GOP elect a governor -- he would almost certainly find work in the new administration. Hopefuls Robert R. Neall, the Anne Arundel County executive; Del. Ellen Sauerbrey; and William S. Sheperd, the 1990 nominee, should be eager to have him.

As many Marylanders know, Mr. Goldstein has campaigned through Maryland since well before the Civil War (just kidding). Actually, he was elected a delegate from Calvert County in 1939. After most of his speeches, he waves and says in his best Southern Maryland twang: "God Bless You All Real Good."

If Mr. Cade gets into the race, a close friend and admirer quips, it'll be "God Bless You" versus a stern salutation beginning with the same word. The withdrawal of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke as a candidate for governor may have had considerable impact on the current governor, a former Baltimore mayor named William Donald Schaefer.

Mr. Schaefer wants to be mayor again. Theodore Francis McKeldin went from mayor to governor to mayor again and, under the right circumstances, Mr. Schaefer might duplicate the feat.

But his hopes dimmed Monday when Mr. Schmoke decided to stay on and seek a third term in City Hall. Mr. Schmoke's departure to run for governor had been the first and, perhaps, essential step in a scenario that would have seen the two men switch places: Mr. Schmoke to Annapolis, Mr. Schaefer back to Baltimore.

In the active minds of some Schaefer supporters, moreover, the plot might have unfolded in a way that would have served other interests of the governor.

Here's how:

Mr. Schmoke would run for governor and win the primary, defeating Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg, a Schaefer enemy. The two haven't spoken much since Mr. Steinberg opposed the governor on a controversial tax proposal.

In the general election, Mr. Schmoke would run against Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, a friend of the governor's. Mr. Schmoke would lose. So far, so good. The governor never liked the mayor despite recent hints at rapprochement.

Are you with me so far? Two Schaefer demons down, one to go.

Mr. Schmoke would return to Baltimore for the final year of his second term as mayor, thoroughly demoralized. But he would hold onto City Hall long enough to keep Council President Mary Pat Clarke from getting a foothold.

With Mrs. Clarke in check and Mr. Schmoke finished, Mr. Schaefer would run in 1995 and win.

Mr. Schmoke didn't cooperate, of course, so the fantasy evaporates.

With the current mayor in the fray, Mr. Schaefer almost certainly would abandon his dreams of being mayor once more. For one thing, he wouldn't be able to stomach the possibility that he might lose to Kurt Schmoke.

He's back, sort of

Former Gov. Marvin Mandel will make a ceremonial return to the Maryland State House. Since leaving the governor's office after his conviction on political corruption charges, he has served a term in federal prison, seen his conviction overturned on appeal and reappeared in the State House as a lobbyist. Now, a portrait of Mr. Mandel is to be unveiled at a 5 p.m. ceremony Oct. 13 in the State House. A reception will follow in the governor's mansion.

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