THEY'RE everywhere! You know it's campaign season when the candidates for governor are splayed so broadly across the local landscape it resembles a military invasion.
There's Parris N. Glendening staging multiple media events to publicize the formal kickoff of his re-election bid.
There's Eileen M. Rehrmann announcing her running mate, veteran Montgomery County politician-businessman Sidney Kramer.
There's Republican front-runner Ellen R. Sauerbrey playing host to New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani at a skybox fund-raiser at Camden Yards, then announcing her surprise choice for lieutenant governor, moderate Richard D. Bennett, a former U.S. attorney for Maryland.
There's long-shot candidate Raymond F. Schoenke Jr. holding a press conference to announce that he has sold his profitable insurance business so voters will know he's serious about running for governor.
There's Charles I. Ecker holding a fund-raiser in Ellicott City, while making daily appearances wherever Republicans are gathered.
And there's Terry McGuire with his ubiquitous yellow billboards. This is just the beginning. As the July 6 filing deadline approaches, candidates for governor will be scrambling to find a partner and to keep generating headlines.
Then campaigning will become feverish until voters head for the beaches in August. After Labor Day, candidates will spend the bulk of their money in the week leading to the Sept. 15 primary.
They are all taking shots at the governor, whose job they want. He tells voters about his achievements, while his opponents try to shoot holes in his record.
Ms. Rehrmann's theme is slots for education. Mr. Schoenke's is his independence. Dr. McGuire emphasizes his anti-abortion stance. Among Republicans, Ms. Sauerbrey tries to soften her conservative image -- thus the choice of Mr. Bennett -- while Mr. Ecker tells party faithful only a moderate can win in November.
Meanwhile, James T. Brady, the former state business secretary, must decide whether to file as an independent and take on the monumental task of securing nearly 100,000 signatures by Aug. 3.
These candidates promise a better tomorrow. What we need are specifics on how they would implement changes in health, education, law enforcement and job growth. We expect a campaign of ideas, not a cacophony of banal media ads.
Pub date: 6/18/98