Ehrlich a friendly face at Sykesville fund-raiser

About 200 attend event for freshman Del. Krebs

Carroll County

October 13, 2003|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

At a political fund-raiser in Sykesville yesterday, two young brothers waited in a long line of supporters to have their photo taken with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. Asked why he would spend a sunny fall afternoon with a crowd of politicians, Patric Barnhart, 8, said, "My mom made me."

His brother Beven, 14, offered a bit deeper rationale. "This man will be president one day and I'll have a picture of him with me."

Ehrlich made no mention of political aspirations or his legislative agenda for next year but did say he is riding a wave of "multipartisanship" and cooperation across the state.

"In this state, at this time, people are getting the message that we meant what we said, and it is creating gold for us," Ehrlich said. "We have credibility appeal."

Carroll County gave Ehrlich nearly 80 percent of its vote, his widest margin in last year's election. He traveled to Sykesville, which straddles the Carroll-Howard line, to support Del. Susan W. Krebs, a Republican freshman who represents Carroll County's newest, most populous and fastest growing district.

Redistricting carved out a new seat in the legislature for the area that includes Sykesville and Eldersburg, and Krebs was the top vote-getter among 11 candidates vying for the job in the primary and general elections.

"I am happy to be here for Susan," Ehrlich said. "She is worthy of your cash."

Organizers estimated the event at Baldwin's Station, on Main Street, would bring in about $10,000. Supporters paid $50 to hear the governor and another $50 for a photo opportunity.

Before a crowd of about 200, Ehrlich praised Krebs, whom he placed among the legislators who entered office "with strong ideas and not with strong partisanship."

State Sen. Robert Kittleman, a Republican whose district includes Carroll and Howard counties, said the governor's visit sends a strong message of support.

"The governor will do anything he can for Carroll County," said Kittleman. "This county will get treated more than fairly, and it will not be dissed like it was with the last governor."

Kittleman referred to the persistent battles Carroll encountered with Gov. Parris N. Glendening's administration, often over land-use issues.

The Ehrlich administration has pledged money for roads, schools and a proposed multimillion-dollar business complex in Sykesville.

Republican Commissioner Dean L. Minnich said the visit helps fulfill Ehrlich's campaign promise to stand behind Carroll County.

"He is making a concerted effort to make his presence known in the county, and it is appropriate that he do so," Minnich said. "This county is a microcosm for the state he asked to support him."

Several officials acknowledged they wanted a minute to pitch their issues to Ehrlich, but those opportunities did not appear.

Hampstead Mayor Haven N. Shoemaker Jr. said he would have liked to tell the governor "a bypass would be swell."

Sykesville Mayor Jonathan S. Herman wanted to express his thanks for the state's support of the Warfield Complex, a business center the town hopes to create along Route 32.

During a handshake with the governor, Herman said he hoped to hear from Ehrlich again soon.

"Oh, you will," the governor said.

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