Goldstein's successor is Barnes Glendening picks former congressman for Md. comptroller

'Many of Louie's attributes'

Schaefer leads more than a dozen hopefuls onto Sept. ballot

July 07, 1998|By Thomas W. Waldron | Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers JoAnna Daemmrich, Michael Dresser and Mark Matthews contributed to this article.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening named former U.S. Rep. Michael D. Barnes to succeed the late Louis L. Goldstein as state comptroller yesterday, even as former Gov. William Donald Schaefer and more than a dozen other candidates filed to run for the office this fall.

Schaefer and Barnes stood out among a small army of candidates, including former Baltimore City Council President Mary Pat Clarke, Baltimore Comptroller Joan M. Pratt and former Maryland Sen. Julian L. Lapides, who beat last night's deadline for getting into the race.

Among those staying out of the crowded field was Eileen M. Rehrmann, who resisted prodding from other Democrats that she abandon her race against Glendening and run instead for comptroller.

Even as Schaefer was filing, the mercurial former governor said he was jumping into the race with little enthusiasm and acknowledged that he might drop out in coming days.

"I don't have any fire," said Schaefer, 76. "I don't like to do this. Louie campaigned from day and night. I'm not going to do that."

Glendening selected Barnes after what he said was a frantic two days of getting advice from other public officials and feeling out potential appointees.

Among those who said no to Glendening's offer were U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin of Baltimore and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, who said he had too many commitments in his county.

But the governor praised Barnes as an eight-year veteran of Congress who has held a variety of other appointed posts at the state level.

"No one ever can replace Louie Goldstein," Glendening said, speaking to reporters even as Goldstein's body lay in honor one floor below in the State House. "But Mike Barnes brings many of Louie's attributes to the comptroller's office."

Barnes, a liberal Democrat from Montgomery County, has been out of office since losing the 1986 primary for the U.S. Senate to Barbara A. Mikulski.

After leaving Capitol Hill, Barnes joined the ranks of Washington's politically connected lawyers, drawing on his experience as chairman of a Latin American subcommittee and ties to the Democratic Party's foreign policy leadership.

The 54-year-old lawyer now lobbies in Washington, representing a variety of clients including Korea Electric Power Co., the government of Cyprus and the Grocery Manufacturers of America.

Barnes, who said he would give up his law and lobbying practice, said he was excited by the prospect of another statewide run and a return to public office.

Glendening's offer, he said, "got my adrenalin flowing for direct involvement in public service."

Standouts in crowded field

In a crowded field, Barnes and Schaefer would clearly stand out, observers said -- Schaefer because of his name recognition statewide and Barnes because of his popularity in vote-rich Montgomery.

"He should run well," said Donald F. Norris, a professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and close observer of state politics. "He's a savvy politician who has run statewide. His name is well known and he's well respected among Democrats."

But in some Democratic quarters, the selection of Barnes generated only modest enthusiasm.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, a Glendening supporter, called Barnes an "outstanding congressman," but suggested he was essentially a fall-back choice. "After others said no, the governor had to find the best candidate he could in a limited amount of time," he said.

Barnes served for more than a year as chairman of Glendening's re-election campaign -- a political friendship that immediately prompted Republican criticism of the governor, who had pledged over the weekend not to politicize the selection of a comptroller.

"The comptroller should be an independent voice in state government, not a rubber-stamp crony of the governor," said Carol L. Hirschburg, a spokeswoman for the Republican gubernatorial front-runner, Ellen R. Sauerbrey.

Yesterday, Glendening said he meant in his weekend comments that he would not advance his re-election effort by appointing one of his challengers to the job -- a statement that ruled out the selection of Rehrmann, his chief rival in the Democratic primary.

"We were talking specifically about not using that appointment to try to remove people from the governor's race," Glendening said.

Despite turning down the governor's offer, Duncan accompanied Barnes to yesterday's announcement in a show of loyalty to both Glendening and Barnes.

"I was certainly honored the governor would consider me for that job," Duncan said. He said, though, he had made too many commitments to change plans and abandon his re-election effort in Montgomery.

All day, old-time Democrats and novice Republicans made a dash to the state election office to give the race a try.

Some came alone to file their candidacy papers, while Baltimore Comptroller Pratt arrived with some 50 cheering supporters.

"I'm sure [Goldstein] is up there enjoying what he stirred up in Annapolis," said Lapides, a former Democratic state senator from Baltimore.

A political rematch

As a subplot, the state comptroller's race will offer a political rematch: Pratt defeated Lapides in the 1995 election for Baltimore comptroller.

Also filing was Clarke, a well-known figure in Baltimore who ran a spirited but unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 1995.

She offered herself as a good government candidate who would continue Goldstein's tradition of an "independent office and a place people have been able to depend upon."

Republicans also hurried to join the GOP's first declared candidate, Timothy R. Mayberry of Boonsboro, who lost to Goldstein by a wide margin four years ago.

Among them were Michael Steele, chairman of the Prince George's Republican Party, and Larry Epstein, an accountant from Glyndon who challenged Goldstein in 1990.

Pub Date: 7/07/98

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