Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman's campaign sent a letter to supporters of her Republican primary opponent to persuade them to switch their endorsements.
Neuman's opponent, Del. Steve Schuh, has locked up more than 100 endorsements. But in a press release on Wednesday, Neuman's camp dismissed the importance of those, saying many come from campaign staffers, out-of-county politicians and people with ties to former County Executive John R. Leopold.
Neuman's team acknowledges it sent a letter to Schuh's endorsers emphasizing his vote for a state bill requiring stormwater fees in Anne Arundel and other counties. The letter asked the endorsers to reconsider their endorsement.
Schuh's camp was not pleased.
"Several of our endorsers contacted us very annoyed," said Schuh spokesman Dave Abrams, who called the letter "rude, unprofessional."
Neuman spokesman Timb Mantegna said the letter was sent because they had been contacted by Schuh endorsers who weren't solid in their support. "He touts this list, but we keep hearing from many endorsers that they committed years ago and would not have endorsed Schuh if asked today," Mantegna said.
Both campaigns have emphasized endorsements as proof of the strength of their candidacy.
Schuh has the most endorsements, many of them from his Republican colleagues in the House of Delegates. His most high-profile endorsements are from former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Maryland's only Republican congressman, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris.
Neuman's top endorsement is from former U.S. Rep. Helen Delich Bentley. On Wednesday, County Councilman John Grasso, who had previously remained neutral, said he would back Neuman.
Neuman was appointed county executive in 2013 to replace Leopold, who resigned following his criminal conviction of misconduct in office. Schuh is a two-term state delegate. The winner of their Republican primary will face Democratic candidate George F. Johnson IV in the general election.
Early voting in the primary runs from Thursday through June 19. Election day is June 24.