After taking many blows, Brock strikes back at Aron CAMPAIGN 1994

September 08, 1994|By Frank Langfitt | Frank Langfitt,Sun Staff Writer

After months of attacks from a primary opponent, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bill Brock fought back for the first time yesterday with the help of two senior Maryland GOP leaders.

In dueling news conferences outside the old Montgomery County courthouse, Mr. Brock defended his record and then was attacked anew by opponent Ruthann Aron.

Moments after Mr. Brock finished, Ms. Aron, a Montgomery County developer, stood at a microphone to continue her denunciations and defend her attacks on him.

Mr. Brock opened the impromptu battle by criticizing Ms. Aron for what he said were distortions and lies about his record. "Those who advocate that kind of politics have a contempt for the American people that is terrifying," said Mr. Brock.

Ms. Aron has portrayed the former Tennessee senator as a career politician who has supported more taxes and voted himself a pay raise.

In fact, Mr. Brock did vote to raise taxes -- but it was to increase Social Security benefits -- and he said his pay raise vote was for a smaller increase after fighting against more expensive proposals.

At Mr. Brock's side at the press conference were former Rep. Marjorie S. Holt and former U.S. Sen. J. Glenn Beall Jr., both of whom testified to his good character and called for a cessation of hostilities.

Mr. Brock took particular umbrage at a statement by Ms. Aron last week in a televised forum where she said she had pledged support for congressional term limits but that Mr. Brock had refused to do so.

In fact, when Ms. Aron signed her pledge in support of term limits at a news conference last summer, an official with U.S. Term Limits -- a national organization promoting congressional reform -- mentioned that Mr. Brock had signed a similar pledge.

"The Aron people know Bill Brock signed it," said Ron Nehring, an official with the organization.

Ms. Aron said she must have misspoke during the forum.

The minutes preceding yesterday's news conference had the feel of a mock thriller. A Brock operative milled about the courthouse square while Aron campaign workers waited for their candidate. About 2 p.m. the Aron camp entered armed with portions of Mr. Brock's voting record and signs. About 10 minutes later, Mr. Brock arrived with his contingent of sign-wavers.

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