Conaway gives up candidacy CAMPAIGN 1994 -- THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR

May 25, 1994|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Sun Staff Writer

Frank M. Conaway, a former Baltimore legislator who in February became the only black candidate for governor this year, gave up his long-shot bid yesterday and threw his support behind fellow Democrat Parris N. Glendening.

Mr. Conaway said he got into the race because he didn't believe concerns of blacks were being addressed. But he said that after hear- ing Mr. Glendening speak at numerous candidate forums, he concluded that the three-term Prince George's County executive would address those issues.

"Before every one of the groups, he has called for inclusiveness and equality," Mr. Conaway said at a news conference staged in the back yard of his Liberty Heights Avenue home.

The 60-year-old businessman, who is the husband of Baltimore Register of Wills Mary W. Conaway, pledged to do everything in his power to help elect Mr. Glendening .

"If it requires funding, I will do that. If it requires shoe leather, I will do that. If I have to be on the stump, I will do that," he said.

Mr. Glendening said he was appreciative. He added that the Conaway endorsement had no strings attached.

"I'm making no commitments whatsoever," Mr. Glendening said when asked whether Mr. Conaway might land a job with his administration in return. "We must win the election first. And we must win with an absolute free hand in putting together a new administration not bound by the baggage of a campaign."

Mr. Conaway often referred jokingly to his skin color during his brief campaign by describing himself "as the most colorful candidate for governor," or even as the only true "dark horse" in the race, but he was in fact one of the most colorful.

A former state delegate who lost his bid for re-election in 1982, Mr. Conaway did not have an active political organization to help wage a race for governor. With little money and little backing, he was freer than most of the candidates to say what he wanted.

Often it was funny. But just as often, it had to do with the economic plight facing many blacks in Maryland and his demands that someone do something about it.

Mr. Conaway's decision leaves Mr. Glendening and four others still in the race for the Democratic nomination.

The others are Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg of Baltimore County, state Sens. American Joe Miedusiewski of Baltimore and Mary H. Boergers of Montgomery County, and Lawrence K. Freeman of Baltimore, a follower of Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr.

Three candidates are seeking the Republican nomination: U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley and Maryland House Minority Leader Ellen R. Sauerbrey, both of Baltimore County, and retired foreign service officer William S. Shepard of Montgomery County.

Candidates have until July 5 to file to run in the Sept. 13 Democratic or Republican primaries. The general election is Nov. 8.

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