Romney beefs up Md. presence

GOP candidate to be at event in Balto. Co.

December 10, 2007|By David Nitkin | David Nitkin,Sun reporter

WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney has bolstered his presidential campaign in Maryland, adding prominent Republicans to a state steering committee and scheduling a major fundraiser in Baltimore County today.

The former Massachusetts governor plans to attend a reception today at the Green Spring Valley home of Robert G. Sabelhaus, a Citigroup executive formerly with Legg Mason.

Supporters who pay $2,300 can attend a brief private reception with Romney. Tickets to the main event cost $500.

The fundraiser comes as Romney jockeys with Rudolph W. Giuliani for advantage in Maryland, a state most notable for the campaign contributions it provides to candidates, driven by its proximity to the nation's capital.

Romney raised $602,023 from Maryland during the first nine months of the year, while Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, collected $655,060.

The loyalties of leading Maryland Republicans have been divided between the two candidates, with Naval Academy graduate Sen. John McCain and former Sen. Fred Thompson picking up a smattering of support.

The Romney campaign continues to collect significant endorsements, and recently announced that John M. Kane, a former chairman of the state Republican Party and owner of Office Movers and other moving and storage companies, has joined its statewide steering committee.

Romney is "the full package," said Kane, who will be raising money for the campaign.

After his 2002 election as governor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. picked Kane to lead the state party, but since Ehrlich's loss last year, state Republicans have splintered and the party has struggled financially. Ehrlich is a regional chairman for Giuliani's campaign and has enlisted the support of many of the fundraisers who have helped him through the years.

Kane's wife, Mary, an Ehrlich appointee as secretary of state, will be on the Feb. 12 Republican primary ballot as a Giuliani delegate from Maryland.

Others added to the Romney steering committee recently include state Sens. Allan H. Kittleman of Howard County, Bryan W. Simonaire and Janet Greenip of Anne Arundel County; Del. Adelaide C. Eckardt of the Eastern Shore; and former Baltimore County Councilman Douglas B. Riley.

david.nitkin@baltsun.com

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