Bobo weighs state jobs Several offered to election loser


Although disheartened by a stunning loss in the Nov. 6 election, former Howard County Executive Elizabeth Bobo is considering a $60,000-a-year state government job and is said to be contemplating other state positions.

Maryland Secretary of Housing and Community Development Jacqueline H. Rogers said yesterday that Bobo has been offered the position of director of the Maryland Housing Fund, but has not said whether she will accept because she has been given a choice of several jobs in the Schaefer administration.

"She is considering the position along with several others," Rogers said. "I know that she has three or four other possibilities. I think she's a wonderfully talented person and I would look forward to working with her, but I don't know where she's going to end up."

The Maryland Housing Fund is the state's housing insurance program that helps families buy homes. The job would pay more than $60,000 annually, Rogers said. The director's position became vacant when Mark McBride resigned in August.

The offers to Bobo come at a time when Gov. William Donald Schaefer has imposed a freeze on hiring for most state positions, and the state could begin sending layoff notices to as many as 1,800 state workers on Monday to help erase a $243 million budget deficit.

Bobo, 46, a Democrat who suffered a stunning defeat to Republican Charles I. Ecker in her re-election bid last month, could not be reached for comment.

Earlier this week, she said she was trying to recover from the election loss and planned to start a new job at the beginning of the year. But she declined to comment on whether she would take a Schaefer administration post.

"I'm not going to talk about what I'm going to be doing," Bobo said.

Sources close to Bobo said the former executive is expected to make her decision before Christmas.

A Bobo confidant said the former county executive is likely to seek advice about her future from a number of friends before making a decision.

Another source said Bobo had wanted to become transportation secretary, a job that went to former Anne Arundel County Executive O. James Lighthizer.

Bobo was appointed to the Howard County Council in 1977 and served there for nine years before her election as county executive in 1986.

During her tenure, she was viewed as a popular and powerful leader with a promising political career. Although she was expected to win re-election as county executive by a comfortable margin, she lost to Ecker by 450 votes in the Nov. 6 election.

Bobo earned $60,000 a year throughout her term, but Ecker has benefited from a bill adopted by the council earlier this year that boosted the county executive's annual salary to $80,000 on Dec. 1.

Rogers said Bobo would be paid "in the low 60s" should she accept the Maryland Housing Fund post.

The fund was established in 1971 to help Maryland families buy homes by insuring mortgages and to provide mortgage insurance to apartment developers. It has 30 employees and a $1.5 million annual budget for the current fiscal year.

Ardath Cade, deputy director of Housing and Community Development, has been acting director of the fund since August.

In another development, former Democratic state Sen. Edward J. Kasemeyer has been hired as the chief lobbyist in Annapolis for Montgomery County government. He is to be paid $70,000 a year working under County Executive Neal Potter.

Kasemeyer, 45, a mortgage banker who has ties to Schaefer, served one term in the state House of Delegates. In 1986, he defeated Republican Christopher J. McCabe to become senator in District 14, which covers parts of Howard and Montgomery counties. He lost his seat to McCabe in their rematch last month.

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