Schaefer endorses governor's campaign Despite differences, predecessor supports Glendening's bid

'Major accomplishments'

Campaign 1998

June 12, 1998|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Gerard Shields contributed to this article.

He fumed after Gov. Parris N. Glendening snubbed him when Baltimore got a new football team. He sulked when Glendening took too long to hang his official portrait in the State House.

But, as expected, former Gov. William Donald Schaefer made peace with his successor yesterday and endorsed Glendening's re-election bid.

"I've had my differences with the governor," said Schaefer, the former Baltimore mayor and two-term governor. "Anyone who said it was peaches and cream it wasn't that way."

But, Schaefer said, Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend deserve another term -- noting, among other things, the extra state aid that has flowed to Baltimore for education and building projects and the passage of a Glendening-backed cut in the state income tax.

"There are major, major accomplishments for this administration," Schaefer said at a news conference at a downtown Baltimore hotel. "If it's not broken, don't try to fix it.

"I strongly urge everyone to vote for you," he told Glendening.

It is unclear what effect Schaefer's endorsement will have on the race because he has no active political machine to rev up for Glendening.

"I expect to be on the street, if that's where he wants me," Schaefer said. "I expect to get business groups together."

While Schaefer said he was impressed by some of Glendening's record, he said in an interview later that his endorsement was also driven by his dislike for some supporters of another Democrat, Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann.

"I worked with both Eileen and Parris. They were both good county executives," Schaefer said. "Only one thing: She's backed by the wrong people."

Schaefer nemesis

While he would not name names, his comment was an obvious reference to political consultant Larry S. Gibson, who is running Rehrmann's campaign and has been a Schaefer enemy for years. Schaefer has also had run-ins with Rehrmann's No. 1 political backer, Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

If Rehrmann were to win, "I'm afraid the control would not be hers," Schaefer said.

Gibson said he was glad to hear about Schaefer's endorsement of Rehrmann's opponent, suggesting it would be a political kiss of death for Glendening.

The longtime political operative listed the unsuccessful Republican candidates Schaefer has backed in recent elections -- such as George Bush in the 1992 presidential contest and Helen Delich Bentley in the 1994 gubernatorial race.

"I was getting worried because [Schaefer] is my good luck charm," Gibson said. "Now I really feel good because my good luck charm is in place."

Schaefer's endorsement came after many months of courting.

Glendening finally hung Schaefer's official portrait last year and called his predecessor on his birthday last fall.

The current and former governor also met for meals, and Glendening praised Schaefer in an awards ceremony at a Democratic Party banquet this spring.

'He listened'

Schaefer has told Glendening in conversations and lengthy jTC letters what he was doing right, and, naturally for the never-shy Schaefer, what he was doing wrong.

"The main thing is he listened. You don't have to agree with me, but give me a chance to say what I think," Schaefer said.

Glendening, who celebrated his 56th birthday yesterday, described himself as "very, very pleased" with the endorsement, which he unsuccessfully sought four years ago.

In a gentle jab at Schaefer for taking four years to come on board, Glendening presented him with a red and white poster bearing Schaefer's public service motto: "Do It Now."

Built on legacy

Glendening praised Schaefer, saying that some of his accomplishments as governor were built on Schaefer's legacy -- such as environmental protections and greater accountability for the state's public schools.

Before yesterday's endorsement announcement, Schaefer convened a breakfast meeting of about 50 business people, most with long ties to Schaefer, to extol Glendening.

Pub Date: 6/12/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.