Ehrlich and Brewster for Congress

August 30, 1994

If there is a sure bet for the November elections, it is that the Republican Party will gain a significant number of seats in the House of Representatives. In Maryland's 2nd Congressional District, however, the party will have to fight to hang onto a seat that has been safely Republican for a decade and might have been for several years more had Helen Bentley not decided to run for governor. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic by registration, but its demographics and recent voting patterns tilt toward the GOP.

Nine candidates are on the ballot for the Sept. 13 primary. From our perspective, the most qualified contestants are Republicans Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and William J. Frank, and Democrats Gerry L. Brewster and Connie Galiazzo DeJuliis.

Mr. Frank, a public affairs official for a bank, is a deficit hawk targeting the 63 percent of 2nd District voters who picked Ross Perot or George Bush in 1992. At 34, Mr. Frank is making his first run for elective office and, while short of funds, he has staged a competent campaign.

Yet he cannot match the record of effective government service offered by Bob Ehrlich, our choice for the GOP nomination. Mr. Ehrlich, 36, has demonstrated during two terms in the House of Delegates that despite his conservative loyalties, he possesses the ability to work each side of the aisle to help build consensus. His Annapolis colleagues, from both parties, are quick to praise him as a serious and diligent legislator.

When Connie DeJuliis, 48, entered the race last spring, the feisty Dundalk delegate was expected to give well-heeled Gerry Brewster an unanticipated run for his money. Moreover, her union support and her roots in the vote-rich east side of Baltimore County are considered formidable assets. But we have found Mrs. DeJuliis, who had a quiet first term in Annapolis, sorely lacking in knowledge and understanding of the issues she would have to tackle in Congress. Mainly for that reason, we favor Mr. Brewster, 36, a first-term Towson delegate who worked in Washington as an aide to Sen. Charles Mathias and has displayed a grasp of federal matters superior to that of Mrs. DeJuliis.

Mr. Brewster must play up this strength in the coming weeks, especially given his reputation as a man whose greatest skill is resume-building. It would be in the best interests of the candidate as well as the voters of the 2nd Congressional District for Gerry Brewster to demonstrate he can address the issues in the manner of a worthy contender for the House of Representatives.

;+ Also see Courthouse endorsements below.

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