Mystery candidate claiming victory 3 months before the GOP primary

June 24, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

Maryland's primary election day is Sept. 13, but Deboul "Jay" Kim, a Republican candidate for the House of Delegates' Towson district, already is claiming victory.

On Monday, Mr. Kim, who has been campaigning in the district for weeks, telephoned an acquaintance in California to report that he had won the District 9B primary and needed more campaign money to beat his Democratic opponent in the general election, said Richard Jaraba, who took the call at his home in La Crecenta.

Mr. Jaraba has a relative in Baltimore who had sent him a June 3 Sun story that questioned Mr. Kim's claims that he is a medical student on leave from the Johns Hopkins University, where he has said he received an undergraduate degree.

Mr. Jaraba called The Sun to seek more information about Maryland's election process and Mr. Kim's role in it.

He said he was disturbed about Mr. Kim's attempt to solicit campaign money. He said Mr. Kim had spent years in his son's company and was a frequent guest in his home.

Mr. Jaraba said Mr. Kim assured him and his son Monday that the questions raised about his name, age and academic background "have been all straightened out" and that they were all minor misunderstandings.

"He said he won his election and he was looking for support for the fall voting," said Mr. Jaraba, who added that he was surprised to learn later that the Maryland Republican primary won't occur until September.

He said Mr. Kim attended Flintridge Prep, a private preparatory school in La Canada, Calif.

Flintridge Headmaster Richard Bachmann confirmed Tuesday that Deboul Kim of La Crecenta was a student there from 1986 until he graduated in 1990. School records show that Mr. Kim's birthday is Nov. 11, 1972, Mr. Bachmann said.

That appears to match Johns Hopkins' records on Deboul D. Kim. University registrar Hedy Schaedel said Deboul D. Kim transferred there from Boston University and left Hopkins in the spring of 1993 without graduating. The only difference is Hopkins shows a birth date of Nov. 17, 1973. Ms. Schaedel could not explain the different birth dates Tuesday.

Jay Kim has denied he is Deboul D. Kim and has placed a "security hold" on information about his academic record at Boston University, the first college he entered in fall 1990 after prep school.

An official in the registrar's office confirmed that Mr. Kim had been a student there then, which matches Hopkins' records for Deboul D. Kim.

At various times since he began campaigning for office, Mr. Kim has claimed to have graduated from the Johns Hopkins University in 1991, 1993 and 1994. He also at one point supplied the Social Security number of another person named Kim, in an effort to prove that he was a medical student at Johns Hopkins.

Medical school registrar Mary Foy confirmed that Deboul Kim is not Peter Kim, the student whose Social Security number he used.

Deboul "Jay" Kim, who has not returned repeated phone calls since the June 3 article, apparently still is telling acquaintances that he is running for office.

Despite that, Maryland elections board officials in Annapolis said yesterday Mr. Kim has not filed yet as a candidate in District 9B.

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