Expected Ehrlich foe adds campaign cash

Montgomery executive Duncan raises $500,000

April 14, 2005|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,SUN STAFF

BETHESDA - Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan raised $500,000 for his expected bid for governor last night during a fund-raiser at which he inched closer to announcing his candidacy.

Duncan told the crowd of 200 that his wife did not attend because her father died Sunday, but she encouraged her husband to keep to the schedule.

"She said, `You just go to your event tonight and tell them you are going to be the next governor of Maryland,' " Duncan said. He quickly added that the statement was "not an official announcement."

The three-term executive was introduced by former Rep. Michael D. Barnes, who said Duncan's experience running Maryland's largest county makes him well-qualified to be governor.

Also appearing at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center was Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, who called Duncan "a person of unquestioned integrity."

Cardin, a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate next year, said his presence was not an endorsement of Duncan, who is expected to face Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley in the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary. "We've got two great people," Cardin said.

Duncan criticized Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in his remarks to the crowd, during which he portrayed himself as a problem-solver and consensus-builder. "We have a governor who would rather pose for pictures, who would posture and politic, than propose practical solutions for problems," Duncan said.

The most recent campaign finance reports, filed with state officials in January, showed Duncan with more available funds than O'Malley, $1.5 million to the mayor's $1 million. Ehrlich had $5.1 million in cash between his account and that of Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele.

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