Kerrey-less campaign set


Although Bob Kerrey has no plans to visit Maryland, he hopes to gain voter support with radio advertisements and surrogate campaigners.

Martin O'Malley, Maryland coordinator for the Nebraska senator, said yesterday it was still possible the candidate would appear before Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary. Mr. Kerrey is concentrating on primaries in Colorado and Southern states after winning the South Dakota primary this week.

"Sometimes you're called on to lead the charge; sometimes you're called on to lead a flanking movement," Mr. O'Malley said philosophically.

In Mr. Kerrey's absence, his Maryland campaign organization is telephoning thousands of voters, targeting black voters with radio ads and scheduling visits by the candidate's sister and friends. The campaign has an office on Charles Street in Baltimore.

About 20 Kerrey supporters spent lunchtime yesterday holding signs and distributing literature at Hopkins Plaza in Baltimore.

"You do your best with whatever resources you have in Maryland," said Mike Greiner, one of nine paid workers the national Kerrey campaign has sent to Maryland.

Mr. Greiner holds the title of Maryland state director and shares leadership duties with Mr. O'Malley, a Baltimore City Council member who is a volunteer.

Mr. Kerrey's sister, Nebraska state Sen. Jessie Rasmussen, and two friends from his days as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam, John Ware and Dwight Daigle, will visit Maryland, according to Mr. Greiner.

They're people who "can give you a kind of personal perception on Bob that nobody else can," Mr. Greiner said.

Mr. Kerrey could also benefit from favorable news coverage springing from his victory in South Dakota, Mr. O'Malley said.

"I'm optimistic and hope the national press coming out of the TV set -- and let's face it, that's where people get their news -- is enough to give us a little bit of a ride here," he said.

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