`The race was tough. I didn't think I was going to lose.'

News Conference Excerpts

Maryland Votes 2006 -- The Primary Election

September 14, 2006

Comptroller William Donald Schaefer took questions from reporters in the Louis L. Goldstein Treasury Building in Annapolis yesterday.

What am I gonna talk about?

How do you feel today?

Fine.

The Associated Press has declared that you have lost the race to Peter Franchot. What is your reaction?

Oh my, is that right? That's the first I've heard of it. Thank you for letting me know. There's an old expression: The best man won. The best man won. If you're not the best man, you don't win. I would have liked to have won. This is the first race I've lost since 1955. It's a tough one to lose, but I won't express my feelings of how I was treated by some in the media and how well I was treated by others in the media. It's quite a contrast to have someone back-biting you all the time. Having the true press give you an equal opportunity - I guess that's a good enough term - give you a fair chance to be able to project yourself and not have one biased person, one biased newspaper against you.

The race was tough. I didn't think I was going to lose. I thought it might be very close. But he [Peter Franchot] ran a good race, and I wish him luck. The comptroller's job is a job that nobody knows the importance of the job because we never tried to make it into something that it wasn't. We did our job. The people I had with me, the staff people, I couldn't have had any better people. I've said this before. I wouldn't trade one department head, staff person, for another, no matter who it was. I just had great people. And they'll carry on the tradition, because the office goes on. You can take the top guy off, if you have a good organization like the comptroller's had, that was strong all the way down to the bottom, the office will keep on going real good and that's what I want them to do.

What are you doing next?

Well, I thought I'd go to lunch. I'm gonna have a baloney sandwich.

Is this the end of your political career?

Are you gonna raise age again? Are you raising age again?

No, no.

Yes, you did. You raised the question of age. I've had that dirty fight all through my life. I was either too young or now I'm too old.

Do you think you'll run for public office again?

Wuh, wuh, wuh.

Is that a yes or a no?

The mayor of Ocean City is open. [His staff cheers loudly.] I loved being mayor more than anything else. I had the office of governor, which I didn't particularly care for. Comptroller was nice. And the reason it was good, comptroller, was I had a staff - they worked so hard and there was an awful lot of pride and we accomplished many good things. And I'm proud of that. But I'm looking to Ocean City. I don't know who my opponents will be. But I'm gonna start my advertising campaign. I've got a few Schaefer signs. I'll take the word `Comptroller' off, slap `Mayor' down there, and away I go.

Governor, do you think any of these so-called politically incorrect statements had anything to do with this?

You know, this was started not by me. I won't go into that. ... There's dirty politics, and there's filthy politics, and I don't know which is which. But it was a nice race, but I'm glad who won won. If I had to lose, I'm glad he won. He's a good man.

But the other comments, considered politically incorrect, as comptroller, do you think that had anything to do with it?

You can call baloney sausage, but it's still baloney. I'm me, and if they think I'm ever gonna change and keep my mouth shut and try to be politically correct, I not gonna do that. I've had a wonderful career. I started off as a city councilman and was mayor and eventually governor. The best job I ever had was mayor. There's no question of which was the best job. I enjoyed that more and the reason for it was you were able to help people. You know, I said this when I ran - every time I ran, every place I ran - the job of a person in public life is to do one thing: Help people. I honestly believe it. I have had an opportunity to help many individuals over a long career that's now ending - except when I go down and file in Ocean City - but it was great. Public service, nothing like it.

Do you really mean that about mayor for Ocean City? Are you serious?

Me, be sarcastic? Oh, oh, my God! Oh, my God!. Now wait a minute. I gotta pose for television first, a little bit.

Governor, what's your proudest accomplishment?

Everything. There was no one thing. Wherever I go in the state or wherever I go in the city, I've got things I can look at and throw my chest out.

You've mentioned that mayor was your favorite job. Do you feel the renewal of Baltimore was ...

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