Mr. Schaefer would not say whether he would throw his support behind a candidate.
There is speculation that he might get behind U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, a Republican, in the general election. Mrs. Bentley, who is ahead in polls by a 4-1 margin over her competition for the GOP nomination, said yesterday that she would not seek Mr. Schaefer's support but would not say whether she would seek his endorsement in the general election.
Mr. Schaefer said his nod "could make a difference" in a close race.
One candidate who could get the governor's endorsement in the Democratic primary is state Sen. American Joe Miedusiewski of Baltimore, who was encouraged to run by Mr. Schaefer. The governor would not endorse him yesterday but said he considered him a viable candidate.
Mr. Schaefer did not mention Mr. Glendening by name but made oblique references to him in his remarks and in the later interview.
He cautioned the local officials to look closely at "promises" made by candidates, particularly in light of the state's tight budget. Mr. Glendening has been criticized by opponents for making at least $200 million in promises in return for political support and endorsements.
Mr. Schaefer also dismissed "this whole baloney of cutting government" as a way to increase spending for certain zTC programs. "Where you gonna go" for the cuts? he asked.
One candidate's "promise" -- made by Mr. Glendening to Montgomery County officials -- that the governor called "impossible" to fulfill is full state funding of Social Security payments for teachers, librarians and community college employees.
The state stopped making those payments when it cut state aid to local jurisdictions by $147 million in the fall of 1992 as a way out of the budget crisis. The cuts caused a sharp rift between Mr. Schaefer and Mr. Glendening, who, unlike other county executives, criticized the governor harshly at the time.
Montgomery County benefited the most from the Social Security program.