Baltimore Sun

Mike Schaefer, no relation to William Donald, makes claim to estate

Mike Schaefer in a doctored photo he distributed as part of his U.S. Senate campaign

A guy by the name of Mike Schaefer has filed a claim stating that he should get $28,000 from William Donald Schaefer's estate.

Mike Schaefer, a Baltimore landlord, is no relation to the late mayor, governor and comptroller, though he openly wished voters would confuse him with the political original when he ran for U.S. Senate in 2006, Baltimore mayor in 2007 and city sheriff last year.


Mike Schaefer pursued a similar strategy in Nevada, where he ran against state Sen. Ray Shaffer in 2004. Before that, he ran in the Las Vegas area to succeed county public administrator Jared Shafer.

"Perennial candidate Mike Schaefer is once again banking that his surname will help him win an election," begins a March 2004 Las Vegas Review-Journal article on what the paper said was his 19th bid for office.


Mike Schaefer never got too far with voters. (He managed to finish behind Socialist Bob Kaufman in the 2007 mayor's race.) But he seemed to win over William Donald, at least for a while.

The two Schaefers met in the 1980s, according to Mike. After William Donald left office, they went out to dinner and lunch periodically. Then William Donald's aides suspected Mike — falsely, he says in a statement accompanying his creditor claim — of stealing from his political namesake. In October 2008, William Donald signed a type-written letter, submitted as Exhibit A to the creditor claim, asking Charlestown Retirement Community to ban Mike Schaefer from the premises.

Mike Schaefer managed to get into Charlestown see William Donald last Christmas and apparently got him to sign a hand-written note (Exhibit B) sanctioning his visits.

Their relationship struck many WDS associates as odd. Yet Mike Schaefer was one of just a few people to get a shout-out from Kweisi Mfume when the former Congressman spoke at William Donald's funeral in April.

Mike Schaefer's claim says he should be reimbursed for restaurant tabs, running errands and driving William Donald around in his 2004 Toyota Scion, which once ran out of gas while the two were out together.

"The reasonable value of the services is $1,000 per month," Schaefer writes.

Charles B. Jones, the attorney probating the will, said executors Zelig Robinson and Lainy LeBow-Sachs will consider the claim. If they do not to grant it, Mike Schaefer could appeal to a probate judge.