Schaefer discovers will to win 'burning as bright' as ever Former governor plans $1 million campaign for comptroller's race

July 12, 1998|By Craig Timberg | Craig Timberg,SUN STAFF

Except for a giant new sign in Fells Point, Maryland politics seemed back to normal yesterday. The governor rallied troops in Prince George's County. His chief Republican rival hopped from event to event. And lesser-known candidates looked to catch fire.

The giant red-and-white sign in the waterfront district east of the Inner Harbor said "Schaefer for Comptroller." It was the result of an extraordinary week in which Louis L. Goldstein, the comptroller for four decades, died, and William Donald Schaefer, the former governor and Baltimore mayor, returned to politics to run for the job.

Around the corner from the 25-foot-wide sign, Schaefer ate breakfast at Jimmy's Restaurant -- his usual spot -- as he prepared for tomorrow's campaign kickoff at the Baltimore Travel Plaza.

For his first campaign in eight years, Schaefer set a tentative budget of $1 million. And he wants stickers, cards and signs -- big signs.

"I want one going into Ocean City, one going out of Ocean City," he told a friend. "I want one going into Baltimore, one going out of Baltimore."

'It's in your blood'

He also wants a full-time campaign manager, a media consultant, a headquarters -- the works. Schaefer says he'll leave nothing to chance.

"It's in your blood," he explained. "I thought it was out, but it's burning as bright as it used to."

He did no campaigning yesterday -- unless you call planning strategy with old friends or talking to every passer-by on a city block campaigning.

Concern for companion

Schaefer planned to spend most of the day with his longtime companion, Hilda Mae Snoops, whose failing health landed her in Howard County General Hospital more than a week ago. As his career revs up again, he fears she may be slipping away.

Snoops has given her approval to his run for comptroller, telling Schaefer, "Do it," from her hospital bed last Sunday, he says.

But he is devoting most of this weekend to personal matters, including the tough question of whether to transfer Snoops to Johns Hopkins Hospital rather than having her return to her Columbia nursing home.

Old friends and supporters interrupt this gloomy talk, offering encouragement or even checks.

"I need a vote," he said again and again. "Don't forget it."

Glendening holds rally

Fifty miles away, Gov. Parris N. Glendening -- the man who hastily added Schaefer to his ticket and dropped his own choice for comptroller last week -- held a pep rally for supporters at a Prince George's County mansion.

In his speech, Glendening barely mentioned Schaefer, instead choosing to bash Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey and what he called her "far-right agenda."

Noting her opposition to abortion rights and gun control, Glendening said, "Lord knows what she's for. Except she keeps saying it's better in Virginia. Maybe she ought to run for governor in Virginia."

As for Schaefer, Glendening said in passing, "I look forward to working with him."

Pub Date: 7/12/98

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