State Digest

STATE DIGEST

October 12, 2006

D.C. business group endorses Franchot

One day after endorsing the re-election of Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Washington business group has thrown its support to one of the governor's harshest critics in the race for comptroller.

The Greater Washington Board of Trade's political action committee announced yesterday that Democrat Peter Franchot, who won a hard-fought primary over incumbent William Donald Schaefer last month, is its choice for comptroller over Republican nominee Anne M. McCarthy, former dean of the University of Baltimore business school.

Franchot, a liberal state delegate from Montgomery County, has been courting moderate Democrats and business leaders.

Mahan Tavakoli, chairman of the Board of Trade's Maryland PAC, pointed to those efforts in announcing the endorsement, saying that Franchot "has demonstrated a willingness and enthusiasm for reaching out to the region's business leadership."

Franchot announced yesterday that he has created a council of about 40 Maryland business leaders to advise his campaign.

Ehrlich has vowed to block Franchot's election, calling him too far to the left. A Sun poll after the primary showed Franchot leading McCarthy by nearly 2 to 1.

MICHAEL DRESSER

Prince George's: New Carrollton

Candidate changes mind on ad

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said he has decided against using the daughter of a slain civil rights leader in a television ad as part of his campaign for governor even though the Maryland woman has given her permission.

The Republican candidate's plan to use footage of Evangeline Moore, 76, of New Carrollton in Prince George's County, in a campaign ad had drawn criticism from some. Her parents, Harry and Harriette Moore, were killed in a 1951 bombing, and Crist's office said in August the couple likely had been killed by four now-dead Ku Klux Klan members.

Crist said Tuesday in Tampa that he would not use the tape in his campaign against Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Davis.

"I have so much respect for her, and even though she has granted us permission to use the spot, I don't want to cause her any angst," he said. "I don't want people to try to use it as a political weapon."

Historian Ben Green, who has written a book about the bombing, has disputed that Crist's office solved the murders in Mims, Fla. He said the investigation turned up nothing new.

Central Florida Crimeline came to the same conclusion and declined to pay a $25,000 reward offered for the bombings to a retired investigator credited by Crist's report with breaking the case.

Evangeline Moore told friends she had not initially realized Crist intended to use a videotape made at her home in a campaign ad. She said she believed it was a thank-you message to Crist for reopening the case and was not endorsing him for governor.

Her son, Skip Pagan, said Crist then called her and persuaded her to agree to the commercial. Pagan was surprised to learn he decided not to use the spot but said that spoke "volumes about his character."

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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