County Democrats listen to pep talk

December 07, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Democrats will work hard in 1994 to elect more party members to state and local offices, former Maryland Rep. Michael D. Barnes told Carroll County Democrats last night.

Mr. Barnes, vice chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party, predicted that the gubernatorial race will be especially lively.

He spoke to about 35 people at a dinner meeting of the Carroll County Democratic Club in the president's dining room at Western Maryland College.

Mr. Barnes, 50, represented Maryland's 8th District, which is Montgomery County, from 1979 to 1987. He left elected office after losing in a 1986 primary race for the U.S. Senate to Barbara A. Mikulski.

He is an attorney with the Washington law firm of Hogan and Hartson, where one of his clients is the Rev. Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti's ousted president.

In his remarks last night, Mr. Barnes singled out Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, a Baltimore County Republican who is running for governor.

He poked fun at some missteps she has taken in her short campaign. Mr. Barnes promised that the party will help elect more Democrats to Congress.

He acknowledged state Del. Thomas H. Hattery of Mount Airy, who attended the dinner and who lost in a bitter fight with Roscoe G. Bartlett for a House seat in 1992.

The party will also help candidates at the county level, Mr. Barnes said.

Democrats should hold more Carroll commissioner seats and the county should have a Democratic state's attorney and sheriff, he said.

"This is a terrific county," he said.

One of three Carroll commissioner seats is held by a Democrat, and the county's state's attorney and sheriff are Republicans.

Mr. Barnes praised President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore and their wives for their accomplishments in the first year of the administration.

He noted the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Brady handgun bill, the Family Leave Act and national service program legislation as high points.

Next year, Congress and the president will deal with welfare reform and health care reform, he said.

"Our country is drowning in the cost of health care, and we've got to deal with it," Mr. Barnes said.

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