Teachers union is prepared to endorse O'Malley today

July 25, 2006|By JOHN FRITZE | JOHN FRITZE,SUN REPORTER

Maryland's main teachers union will follow through on its promise to support the expected Democratic nominee in this year's gubernatorial race by endorsing Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley at an event in Essex today.

The Maryland State Teachers Association, with 65,000 members, failed to endorse a candidate at its assembly in May. At the time, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, who made education a central issue of his campaign, was still in the race.

"Our teachers know more than anyone the challenges facing Maryland schools, and they understand that Martin O'Malley and [running mate] Anthony Brown will provide the leadership necessary to help them meet those challenges," said O'Malley campaign spokesman Rick Abbruzzese.

The mayor's opponents have blamed him for the state of the city's schools. A statement released by the Maryland Republican Party yesterday attacked O'Malley for the system's low graduation rate.

"It's a sad day for Maryland's students and teachers when the teachers union supports a politician like Martin O'Malley who has ignored, neglected and scorned the city's school students," the statement read.

Neither Duncan nor O'Malley received the 58 percent of votes needed to capture the union's endorsement as its May meeting. At the time, Duncan campaign officials said their candidate had received 55 percent of the vote.

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