Democratic chairwoman to resign

September 24, 1994|By C. Fraser Smith | C. Fraser Smith,Sun Staff Writer

Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Vera P. Hall said yesterday that she will resign from her post Monday to pursue her Baltimore City Council duties and a possible run for the council presidency.

Mrs. Hall said the party will be run at least temporarily by its vice chairman, Michael D. Barnes, the former 8th District congressman from Montgomery County. Mr. Barnes said the choice of a new chairman is up to Prince George's County Executive Parris N. Glendening, the party's gubernatorial nominee. Deferring to Mr. Glendening, Mr. Barnes declined to say yesterday if he is interested in taking the post permanently.

The party's executive committee is to meet Wednesday, and Mr. Glendening will announce his choice then, according to a spokesman for his campaign.

Mrs. Hall, who is also vice president of the City Council, said she is resigning her party office after two years to focus more completely on her council responsibilities -- and to continue her exploration of making a race next year for the council presidency.

"I'm learning to spell relief," she said, "trying to do just one job."

She has been active in the party since 1974. She said she hopes the timing of her departure will allow the party to find a new chairman who can help to organize a strong Democratic showing in the general election. She said she believes she is leaving the party in good financial and organizational condition.

Mrs. Hall took over the chairmanship two years ago from Bethesda developer and Democratic fund-raiser Nathan Landow. She said she is proud of the party's 1992 victory in Maryland for President Clinton and gratified that, despite some financial problems, no one on the party staff missed a paycheck.

Some have worried that Mr. Clinton's low standing in the polls means that Democrats are in for a difficult election year, but Mrs. Hall said she is not concerned about Democrats in Maryland.

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