De Francis hosts gala


One of Maryland's racing industry leaders is taking sides in the Virginia gubernatorial race by throwing his support behind Mary Sue Terry, the Democratic candidate for governor.

In fact, Joe De Francis, owner of Laurel and Pimlico race courses, last evening sponsored a $500-a-head fund-raiser at the Centre Club in downtown Baltimore that was attended by a host of local notables, including Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and his political adviser, Larry S. Gibson.

About 45 people attended the event, intended to bolster Terry's chances in the Virginia gubernatorial election Nov. 2 against Republican George F. Allen.

De Francis was unavailable for comment, but Alan M. Rifkin, whose lobbying firm represents the track owner's interests in Annapolis, said De Francis was merely supporting an old friend.

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