Phil Gramm visits Bel Air to support local Republican candidates


Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, rode into Bel Air Tuesday afternoon as the brightest star in the Harford County Republican Central Committee's display of solidarity.

Imitating national and state signing ceremonies, the county's GOP Central Committee had local candidates add their signatures to a "Republican Contract with the Citizens of Harford County."

The ceremonial signing of the two-paragraph statement was held to let voters know that GOP candidates are "committed to individual liberty, economic opportunity and personal responsibility through limited and effective government."

In essence, it reaffirmed the Republican Contract with America, a 10-point party platform presented Sept. 27 on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and repeated Oct. 4 on the State House steps in Annapolis.

The GOP's national contract pledged that, if Republicans gain a majority in the House of Representatives, they will seek a constitutional amendment within the first 100 days to balance the federal budget.

The pledge also seeks to streamline the death penalty appeals process, require congressional term limits, require a two-thirds majority to pass bills that raise taxes, restore money for defense security, provide a family tax credit, provide small-business incentives and bring about capital gains cuts.

Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., the GOP candidate in the 2nd Congressional District, introduced Senator Gramm, calling him "the first person in America to stand up to 'Hillary Health.' "

"At a time when half the world is trying to get out of socialized medicine, we're the only country in the world trying to get into it," Senator Gramm said amid spirited applause from about 100 gathered on the Circuit Court steps for Tuesday's 30-minute ceremony.

Mr. Ehrlich said Senator Gramm was the seventh member of Congress to visit Maryland in support of his candidacy.

"They all have focused on the same issues that I have focused on," Mr. Ehrlich said. "Senator Gramm is a champion for small business. "That's the No. 1 issue in my campaign."

Joining Senator Gramm and Mr. Ehrlich in signing Tuesday's contract were Councilwoman Joanne S. Parrott, candidate for County Council president; Gwendalynne G. Corkran, candidate for State Senate, District 35; Kenneth Holt, candidate for House of Delegates, District 6; and Nancy Jacobs, candidate for House of Delegates, District 34.

Others were Ronald M. Szczybor, candidate for county executive; Joseph P. Meadows, candidate for sheriff; F. Stewart Elliott, candidate for clerk of the Circuit Court; Carol MacCubbin, candidate for register of wills; and County Council candidates Veronica L. Chenowith, District B; Mark S. Decker, District C; Barry Glassman, District D; and Mitchell Shank, District F.

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