Harford leader to help GOP Rehrmann agrees to take Sauerbrey on technical centers tour

September 29, 1998|By C. Fraser Smith | C. Fraser Smith,SUN STAFF

In a gesture tantamount to endorsement, Democratic Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann will take Republican gubernatorial candidate Ellen R. Sauerbrey on a tour of her county's high-tech training centers next week.

Though Rehrmann is not expected to officially endorse Sauerbrey, her public helping hand all but adds her name to a list of well-known Democrats who have decided to back Sauerbrey over their party's incumbent governor, Parris N. Glendening.

Former Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg was the first big-name Democrat to make an official endorsement of Sauerbrey -- and former Glendening administration economic development chief, James A. Brady, is expected to do so soon.

Also said to be ready to join the unofficial ranks of Democrats for Sauerbrey is former state Del. Timothy F. Maloney of Prince George's County and Charles L. Benton, former Gov. William Donald Schaefer's budget secretary.

Rehrmann -- who dropped out of the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination before this month's primary but got 13 percent of the vote -- was sharply critical of Glendening while she was a candidate and the two have not mended fences.

Her agreement to help the GOP candidate would be a slap at Glendening.

"She's going to spend a lot of time with her -- and talk about Ellen Sauerbrey's integrity when they were colleagues in the House of Delegates," said a Democratic Party source familiar with the plans. "And she will talk about her concerns about the state's leadership."

Rehrmann's spokesman, George Harrison, said the county executive was pleased with the opportunity to show Sauerbrey several projects that have been successful in the county, including its Higher Education Applied Technical center and the Harford County Technical High School.

"Ellen asked, and Eileen agreed," Harrison said.

The Sauerbrey campaign said a firm date for the visit will be set soon.

"Eileen graciously agreed to brief her," said Carol Hirschberg, a Sauerbrey spokeswoman. "We're very grateful for her help. She has in-depth knowledge about Harford County, and Ellen would like to avail herself of that knowledge in a spirit of bipartisan cooperation."

Hirschberg said Rehrmann's "gesture of bipartisanship" cannot be regarded as an "official endorsement."

But she said the campaign is delighted for an opportunity to campaign with a Democrat whose work in economic development and skills training has been widely praised.

Pub Date: 9/29/98

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