Balto. Co. teachers endorse

June 11, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

The Teachers Association of Baltimore County yesterday gave Charles A. Dutch Ruppersberger III his second major endorsement for county executive this week, helping him gain an early advantage for the Democratic nomination.

Mr. Ruppersberger of Cockeysville, who represents the northern county in the County Council, won a county police union endorsement Tuesday.

The teachers made no endorsement in the Republican race for executive between incumbent Roger B. Hayden and former county employee Donald Brewer, "due to the county executive's health," TABCO president Ray Suarez said. Mr. Hayden is recuperating from brain surgery.

Mr. Suarez said the 5,700-member group picked Mr. Ruppersberger because "he had the best grasp of the issues, and is highly committed to the basic problems in the county.

"It was a tough choice," he said, referring to the other three major Democratic candidates.

Other Democratic candidates are County Councilman Melvin G. Mintz of Pikesville, state Sen. Nancy L. Murphy of Catonsville, retired District Court Judge John C. Coolahan of Halethorpe, and Kevin Pearl of Woodlawn, a follower of Lyndon LaRouche.

TABCO's 200-member representative assembly voted unanimously for Mr. Ruppersberger, he said.

Mr. Suarez said TABCO will provide money, volunteers and phone bank help as needed.

Mr. Mintz said he always has strongly supported the teachers and education. Because of that, he said, he was "a little surprised" the teachers endorsed Mr. Ruppersberger.

"I guess he's better at the old boy network, the closed door meetings, than I am," Mr. Mintz said.

Mr. Coolahan said that getting two endorsements has given Mr. Ruppersberger an advantage, but said "I'm not distraught." He said he's rarely been endorsed by the teachers and noted that union help in 1990 did not save Dennis F. Rasmussen from losing the executive's job. "It's not fatal," he said.

Mr. Ruppersberger had said the endorsement by Lodge No. 4 of the Fraternal Order of Police was the most important one a candidate can get this year because people are more worried about crime than any other issue.

He has criticized Mr. Hayden for cutting police budgets and reducing the authorized police strength during the recent recession, saying it amounted to a lack of leadership.

Mr. Hayden has said he made the tough choices dictated by the economy, and now is working to rebuild the department's strength.

Meanwhile, profits from a Thursday night fund-raiser at Timonium Fairgrounds are expected to push Mr. Ruppersberger close to -- if not past -- his goal of raising $400,000 for the primary campaign.

Off-duty county officers wearing green campaign T-shirts were out in force at the $100-a-ticket event.

Ruppersberger campaign officials said 1,300 tickets were sold and 1,400 people attended. Others estimated the crowd at fewer than 1,000.

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