Mayoral hopefuls win support

GOP's McMillan gets Democratic backing

police endorse Moyer

Annapolis

October 10, 2001|By Amanda J. Crawford | Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF

With less than a month to go before Annapolis voters decide on a new mayor, both candidates picked up key endorsements yesterday.

Democratic candidate Alderman Ellen O. Moyer started the day by announcing that the city's 90-member police union had thrown its support to her, while Republican Alderman Herbert H. McMillan got the nod from a new group of Democrats and independents, including two former Democratic candidates.

These two endorsements are the latest on a list of supporters that the candidates have lined up since they won their parties' nominations in the Sept. 11 primary. The expressions of support cross party lines: Moyer has received Republican endorsements as well.

"He serves his party best who serves his community best," McMillan said at a news conference announcing the formation of the 25-member Democrats and Independents for McMillan. "I thank you all for the same belief I have held in my heart, that community comes before party."

Unveiling a new campaign slogan, "Leadership ... for our Neighborhoods," the candidate and his supporters painted the Republican as an advocate for the city's neighborhoods.

"We have all been brought here by a common belief - that belief is that Herb McMillan is the right person to move Annapolis forward," said the group's chairwoman, Debbie Rosen McKerrow.

Former Democratic mayoral candidates Maureen Lamb and Sylvanus B. Jones were among the members of the group, which met yesterday afternoon in the council chambers in City Hall.

"I have found Herb to be a dedicated, honest and superb person," said Jones, who had previously announced his support of McMillan. He also praised McMillan's stance on budget issues.

Lamb, who placed second in the Democratic primary with 689 votes to Moyer's 1,397, said she is throwing her support behind McMillan because many of her supporters have.

"I was really impressed walking door-to-door how many people said, `If you don't win [the primary], I am going to vote for Herb,'" she said.

Alderman Louise Hammond, a Democrat representing Ward 1, also is a member of that group, but has supported McMillan from the beginning, encouraging him to run, she said.

Moyer has "reinvented herself as someone who brings the community together and builds consensus, when in fact she has voted against or been on the opposite side of what has been the consensus of Ward 1 and sometimes Ward 2 and citywide," Hammond said.

`An exaggeration'

Moyer said Hammond is bringing up old issues that are over and done with and called Hammond's criticism "certainly an exaggeration of the truth."

While McMillan has made increased police foot patrols a primary issue in his campaign, the union that represents the city's police officers heavily criticized him after its endorsement of Moyer.

"He said officers need to be out on the street and we felt that is an ignorant statement - our officers are on the street or you wouldn't see the crime rate reduced 17 percent [in the city]," said John Miller, chief steward for the police union. "They are on the job."

`Utmost confidence'

Of Moyer, Miller said, "We have the utmost confidence in her that we will be able to work with her to accomplish the city's goals and meet the community's needs."

Moyer, who said she is "very proud to have the respect of our policemen," has said she supports renovations to police headquarters and improved pay and benefits for fire personnel and police officers to keep them from leaving for other jurisdictions.

"We definitely need to bring that building up to date and we definitely have to deal with the issues of benefits for police and fire [personnel] or we are going to find ourselves in a crisis state," Moyer said.

McMillan, who has run afoul of the police union by opposing the purchase of a lot adjacent to police headquarters for its expansion and calling for a restructuring of officers' schedules, said, "We do need to talk about pension and pay" in the Police Department. But, he added, "I am not going to promise things to the union in advance."

Owens backing Moyer

Moyer also has picked up the endorsements of County Executive Janet S. Owens, and two Republican council members, Aldermen Joseph Sachs and Michael W. Fox as well as five former mayors: Richard Hillman; Dennis M. Callahan; John Chambers; her opponent in the primary, Alfred A. Hopkins; and her former husband, Roger "Pip" Moyer.

Callahan, who was mayor while Moyer was on the council, called Moyer "hard-working, intelligent" and someone who "spoke her mind."

"I think she'll do a great job," he said.

Sachs, who backed Mayor Dean L. Johnson in the Republican primary, said he is endorsing Moyer because he thinks McMillan is "divisive."

"I don't think he is the kind of person I would like to see as mayor of Annapolis," he said.

McMillan said he has also picked up the endorsement of Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, a Republican.

The city's general election is scheduled for Nov. 6.

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