For Governor, A.G. and Comptroller

November 04, 1994

In going to the polls next Tuesday to elect the executives and legislators who will govern this state for the next four years, Marylanders should set their sights beyond individual candidates take into account the cross-currents of power.

Fast-forward to January 1995: Will the state's well-being be served by having a conservative Republican governor or a mainstream Democrat to deal with a Democrat-controlled General Assembly? Will the public interest be served with a Republican attorney general who can keep an eye on a Board of Public Works almost sure to have a Democratic majority, or is it better to stick with the Democratic incumbent? Are state finances to be left in the hands of a veteran Democratic comptroller proud of the state's AAA bond rating or turned over to an uncredentialed GOP challenger?

In addition to personal character, philosophy and experience, which must remain paramount, these wider questions have influenced The Sun's endorsements for statewide office. Our choices:

For governor -- Parris N. Glendening, a Democrat who as Prince George's County executive for 12 years displayed innovative government management skills. During his long campaign, he made too many multi-million dollar promises and pandered to too many special interests in building up a $6 million campaign war chest. His loyalty to suburban Washington is troubling to Baltimoreans. But when measured against Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey, a doctrinaire 16-year delegate from Baltimore County, whose call for a 24 percent cut in state personal income taxes is either unattainable or too Draconian, Mr. Glendening emerges as the better choice.

For attorney general -- Republican Richard D. Bennett, a former U.S. attorney who could serve as watchdog as well as counselor to the governor and the various state agencies. There is always some ambiguity about the proper role of an attorney general. After eight years in which Democrat J. Joseph Curran Jr. was too much an advocate for those holding state power rather than as a tribune for the people, we believe a change is in order. Mr. Bennett would serve as a counter to the ambitious Mr. Glendening; he also would serve as a moderate GOP counterweight to the ideological swerve to the right Mrs. Sauerbrey would represent.

For comptroller -- Democrat Louis L. Goldstein, at 81 and after nine terms the longest-serving statewide office-holder in Maryland history. Mr. Goldstein's long record in managing state finances is the appropriate answer to the challenge by Timothy R. Mayberry, a Boonsboro banking consultant with only a limited resume for such an important job. As a member of the Board of Public Works, along with Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Treasurer Lucille Maurer, Mr. Goldstein has not been as independent as we would like. But with a new personality in the governor's chair, his experience could pay off in putting the new administration on the right track and keeping it there.

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