Rockville lawyer wants to unseat Louis Goldstein Moorhead says he's raised $175,000

November 18, 1993|By Robert Timberg | Robert Timberg,Staff Writer

James B. Moorhead, a Rockville attorney who claims to have quietly amassed an impressive campaign war chest, has surfaced as a challenger to nine-term incumbent Louis L. Goldstein for the Democratic state comptroller's nomination.

"We need a real watchdog in Annapolis who will fight for the taxpayers," Mr. Moorhead said.

"We need a comptroller who will crack down on government waste and mismanagement. The current incumbent simply has failed to do the job he was elected to do."

Mr. Moorhead, 39, a former federal prosecutor, says he has raised $175,000 since February to go with the $15,000 he lent his campaign. He cited another $10,000 in pledges, which he expects to collect by the end of the year.

He currently has over $100,000 in the bank, he said.

Mr. Goldstein raised $135,000 at a $100-a-ticket affair at Martin's West in May, said Marvin Bond, the comptroller's spokesman.

"His basic position throughout his career is not to raise any more money than he needs," said Mr. Bond. "If more money is necessary, we can raise it. That's no problem."

As a first-time candidate for state elective office, Mr. Moorhead is not required to file campaign finance reports with the Maryland election board until next summer. In a telephone interview, however, he identified a number of contributors, many of them lawyers and other professionals in the Baltimore and Washington area.

Said one of those mentioned, Robert J. Mathias, of the Baltimore law firm of Piper & Marbury, "It does make sense to me that he raised $200,000 because I know how hard he's been working."

Mr. Moorhead graduated from Harvard College in 1976 and Columbia University law school in 1981. He clerked in Baltimore for federal Judge Herbert F. Murray, then joined the Washington law firm of Edward Bennett Williams, the late owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

From 1983 to 1986, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Baltimore, specializing in political corruption cases, then worked as a commercial banker with J. P. Morgan and as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs.

More recently, Mr. Moorhead served on the 11-member Governor's Commission on Efficiency and Economy in Government, often called the Butta commission after its chairman, retired Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. chief J. Henry Butta.

In January, the commission presented 115 recommendations to Gov. William Donald Schaefer for streamlining state government and making state agencies more self-sufficient. However, the legislature enacted only a handful of the 42 bills distilled from the panel's proposals.

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