ALTHOUGH James T. Brady, the former secretary of Maryland's Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), has decided not to run for governor as an independent, the issue he raised won't vanish. Maryland's economic development efforts will be held up to scrutiny by the remaining gubernatorial contenders.
Mr. Brady's big gripe is that his former boss, Gov. Parris N. Glendening, gives lip service to economic development.
Though the booming national economy has generated 100,000 more jobs for Maryland, Mr. Brady believes the state hasn't done enough.
Clearly, the governor disagrees. He proclaims in campaign stops his record in job growth. He will be forced to defend that record.
Harford County Executive Eileen M. Rehrmann, the governor's main Democratic rival, says state officials failed to react aggressively to opportunities in her subdivision. She wants to decentralize economic development efforts, modeling regional approaches after the much-applauded Greater Baltimore Alliance.
She also wants to double state funds for worker training for existing Maryland companies; make DBED more responsive to business needs; and embrace the "fast track" permit process for key projects that has proved such a success in Harford.
Meanwhile, Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey, the heavy primary favorite, talks of larger income-tax cuts to aid businesses and of a business-friendly DBED. She has yet to lay out specifics, but she sharply disputes the governor's approach to job growth.
Though Mr. Brady's candidacy never got off the ground, he performed a useful service. Voters will hear much about economic development in the months ahead. We expect all serious candidates to lay out detailed proposals for accelerating Maryland's economic growth as we prepare to enter the next century.
Pub Date: 6/25/98