Dr. Allan C. Levey, 62, oral surgeon, prominent in GOP politics, horse racing

December 10, 1997|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Dr. Allan C. Levey, a Potomac oral surgeon who was prominent in Republican politics and thoroughbred racing in Maryland, died Monday night at Oakwood Hospital and Annapolis Center in Wayne, Mich., after he suffered a heart attack. Dr. Levey was stricken at Detroit Metropolitan Airport while changing planes to return to Maryland.

Dr. Levey, who had been in Chicago for several days taking continuing education courses, was 62.

He was a former chairman of the Maryland Republican Party and former commissioner and chairman of the Maryland Racing Commission. In the latter positions, he advocated slot machines at Maryland tracks so that a portion of that revenue could be used to bolster the pari-mutuel industry.

"He did an outstanding job as a commissioner and chairman. The industry will greatly miss him," Joseph A. DeFrancis Jr., owner of Pimlico and Laurel racetracks, said yesterday.

"Allan was someone who seemed to have limitless energy. No matter how difficult or tedious the task, he always tried to do the right thing for the industry."

Dr. Levey was appointed to the commission in 1990 and was named chairman by Gov. Parris N. Glendening in 1995. He was forced to resign the next year after questions were raised about a $20,000 loan he got from Henry A. Rosenberg Jr., chief executive of Crown Central Petroleum Corp., who was also a horseman.

In his letter of resignation, Dr. Levey wrote, "Questions have been raised about a small personal loan, which I received and repaid in 1994, which I omitted from my financial disclosure statement. I regret this omission and choose to resign rather [than] involve the racing industry in additional controversy at this critical time."

Long active in politics, Dr. Levey served as state GOP chairman from 1979 to 1986.

Helen Delich Bentley, a former GOP congresswoman and federal maritime commissioner, gave credit to Dr. Levey for the party's growth.

"Allan Levey reached into a number of new areas to recruit Republicans, and at the time he took over, the Republican Party was almost nonexistent in Maryland," Mrs. Bentley said.

She said he created large fund-raising events and brought major donors to the party as well as the "business community who said they were Republicans but were actually registered Democrats."

HTC "He was from the moderate side of the party; therefore the hard-core conservatives didn't like him," Mrs. Bentley said. "He thought the party should have a big tent and embrace all groups."

Samuel A. Culotta, a Baltimore lawyer and frequent GOP mayoral candidate, praised Dr. Levey's ability to "get involved in the nuts and bolts of our party. We will certainly miss Allan's energy."

David R. Blumberg, chairman of the Baltimore City Republican Party, said Dr. Levey "was far more concerned about Baltimore City than any of his predecessors."

"Life was never dull around Allan -- he could support a William Donald Schaefer or a Parris Glendening [both Democrats] with the same energy."

Born in Wayne, Dr. Levey earned a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University in 1957 and a dental degree from the University of Michigan in 1961. He was an intern at Philadelphia General Hospital from 1961 to 1962, an oral surgery intern at District of Columbia General Hospital from 1962 to 1963, and a resident in oral surgery at Georgetown Hospital from 1963 to 1964.

He served as chief resident of oral surgery at D.C. General and Georgetown hospitals from 1964 to 1965 and earned a master's degree in oral surgery from Georgetown University in 1965.

Dr. Levey first became active in Republican politics in Prince George's County in 1968 and served as finance committee chairman of the state GOP from 1978 to 1979.

Funeral services for Dr. Levey will be at noon tomorrow at Washington Hebrew Congregation, Massachusetts Avenue and Macomb Street N.W., Washington.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, the former Bunnye Schofer; two sons, Stephen Levey of Rockville and Marc Levey of Potomac; a brother, Donald Levey of Florida; and a grandson.

Pub Date: 12/10/97

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