Glendening, Townsend travel Campaign: The governor and lieutenant governor hit the road to drum up interest in today's primary.

The Political Game

September 15, 1998|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF

GOV. PARRIS N. Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend took to the highway yesterday on a rented school bus -- an effort to wake up voters to the primary election today.

The two candidates and a gang of campaign staffers and volunteers boarded the bus at 6: 15 a.m. in Riverdale and made their way through the Washington suburbs to greet commuters at Metro stops in Prince George's and Montgomery counties. They moved on to Rockville and then to Baltimore's Inner Harbor for the lunch crowd.

"It's a lot like a school field trip -- with the teacher at the front of the bus," said one enthusiastic supporter, referring to Professor Glendening.

Things apparently got especially slow on the after-lunch ride to Annapolis, so Townsend revved up the happy band by leading them in song -- the "Notre Dame Fight Song," "Anchors Aweigh" and "Do-Re-Mi" among them.

The group de-bused at the City Dock, where they were met by a handful of Anne Arundel County incumbents and a few dozen supporters, some with Glendening-Townsend placards.

"We're seeing a good level of enthusiasm wherever we go," said Glendening, who despite the midday heat continued working the crowd in his navy blazer.

It was difficult to measure what constituted "a good level" of said enthusiasm in the state capital, where Glendening and Townsend gripped and grinned their way up Main Street from the harbor.

"Well," explained Sen. John C. Astle, "it's real hot out."

President Bush to speak at Sauerbrey fund-raiser

Former President George Bush will be the featured speaker Friday at a breakfast fund-raiser for Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey.

At $1,000 a ticket, the Sauerbrey campaign is hoping Bush will attract $250,000 for her Nov. 3 general election effort.

The event, sponsored by hotel magnate J.W. "Bill" Marriott Jr. and his wife, is scheduled at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Tysons Corner, Va.

Marriott apparently has had enough of Gov. Parris N. Glendening, whom he supported over Sauerbrey in 1994. In fact, he co-chaired the Republicans for Glendening committee four years ago.

Asked why the Sauerbrey event is in Virginia and not Maryland, where she's running for governor, campaign spokesman Jim Dornan said candidly: "Because Mr. Marriott wants it there."

Once-infuriated Republicans have apparently forgiven Bush for renegging on his "Read my lips, no new taxes" campaign pledge in 1988.

"He's very, very popular now on the fund-raising circuit," Dornan said. "He's here because Republicans all over the country believe Ellen's going to win this race and he wants to make sure it happens."

Keeping an eye on legislative races

There are a handful of legislative races that will be very closely watched by political insiders in today's primary.

One of the hotter races is in Northeast Baltimore, where Pat Gorman, a community activist with strong backing from Charles Village's New Democratic Club, is giving the three incumbents a run for their money.

Del. Ann Marie Doory, vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been targeted by Gorman's well-funded campaign. The spillover effect, however, could well have an impact on Del. Michael V. Dobson, who was appointed to the seat this year, and Del. Kenneth C. Montague Jr., the co-chairman of the ethics committee.

In Prince George's County, two incumbent senators have primary battles with delegates looking to move to the upper chamber.

Sen. Gloria G. Lawlah is being challenged by Del. C. Anthony Muse, who is being strongly backed by County Executive Wayne K. Curry in a power struggle with the county senators. Sen. Decatur W. "Bucky" Trotter also is facing a stiff bid for his seat by Del. Nathaniel Exum.

On the Republican side, for the first time in a long time, four incumbent senators have races on their hands, generally from the party's right.

Sen. F. Vernon Boozer, the Senate minority leader, faces a fight against Andrew P. Harris in north central Baltimore County. In Anne Arundel County, Sen. Robert R. Neall finds himself up against William A. Scott for his west county seat.

In Western Maryland, GOP Sen. John J. Hafer faces a challenge from a more moderate David W. Thomas in Allegany and Garrett counties, while Sen. John W. Derr is in the fight of his political life against Alexander X. Mooney in Washington and Frederick counties.

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