Ehrlich is targeting Glendening instead of opponent DeJuliis He promises governor an election 'bloody nose'

September 07, 1996|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Declaring that he will give embattled Gov. Parris N. Glendening "a bloody nose on election night," freshman Republican Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. says the governor is his real adversary in his re-election bid this fall.

Preparing to launch his first television advertising campaign, Ehrlich yesterday brushed past Connie Galiazzo DeJuliis, the Democratic nominee for his congressional seat, to attack the governor, lately a more controversial target.

He charged that Glendening was the real power behind the DeJuliis campaign, and that the governor had snubbed him at events in his district.

"He has made [the congressional campaign] his business. He has a thing about me," Ehrlich said. "I want to send a very strong message on election night that Glendening had better stay out of the 2nd Congressional District."

With Glendening's popularity low after controversial fund-raising tactics and widespread criticism, even Democrats are discussing whether to back a politician who won in 1994 with only a 6,000-vote margin.

But DeJuliis took a dim view of Ehrlich's statements.

"Here's the news bulletin: I'm the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District. I'm his opponent," she said. "If he wants to run for governor, let him run for governor."

DeJuliis replied with her own campaign theme that Ehrlich has usually voted with Newt Gingrich and "right-wing Republican extremists" who, she says, seek to knock out the legal and economic underpinnings of middle-class voters.

"He voted five times to cut Medicare," she said, and four times against a higher minimum wage. "He should be helping to create the broadest middle class."

Ehrlich says that he has opposed his party when necessary; that raising the minimum wage will only reduce the number of entry-level jobs; and that Republicans have sought to preserve Medicare's solvency, not destroy it.

Ehrlich said he supports 1994 nominee Ellen R. Sauerbrey for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 1998.

Maryland Republican Party Chairwoman Joyce Lyons Terhes said, "Glendening knows that we view Bob Ehrlich as a rising star," and consequently "pushed hard" to get a woman in the race against him as a contrast that would "keep Bob occupied."

Ehrlich campaign manager Robert L. McKinney went even further: "Bob Ehrlich presents the greatest threat to [the governor's] re-election."

McKinney partially conceded the political motive in attacking the governor. "His negatives are higher in the 2nd Congressional District than any other politician we tested," he said.

Ehrlich said his strategy also is legitimate payback.

The governor, he and McKinney said, is the real power behind the DeJuliis campaign, having helped recruit her and raise money for her.

DeJuliis denies that, and said Glendening has raised "no more than $7,000" for her.

Ehrlich also says Glendening has snubbed him several times at events in the 2nd District by either not inviting him or extending invitations at the last minute.

Judi Scioli, a spokeswoman for the governor, said, "I guess Gingrich is giving his party a black eye. I can see why Republican contenders want to give good Democrats a bloody nose."

Despite the gubernatorial rhetoric, Ehrlich said he is "totally focused on this [re-election] race," and will begin running his first 30-second television ads Monday on all Baltimore stations.

Pub Date: 9/07/96

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