Doro Bush Koch, sister of Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush and a Maryland resident, urged hundreds of GOP activists in Towson yesterday to do whatever is needed to elect her brother in November.
The featured speaker at the opening of Bush's Maryland headquarters, Koch said the differences between the two presidential candidates this year on issues such as tax cuts are stark.
"My brother believes everyone who pays taxes should get a tax cut," Koch said. "Al Gore believes that only people who fit certain criteria should get a tax cut. That's a big difference."
Koch, who lives in Montgomery County, said it was crucial for Bush supporters to step up their efforts.
"We only have 55 days to go, so whatever you can do, do it," Koch said.
Although the Texas governor trails Gore in polls taken in heavily Democratic Maryland, the leaders of his campaign here said they were thrilled that an estimated 300 people turned out yesterday for the headquarters opening.
Ellen R. Sauerbrey, chairwoman of Bush's Maryland campaign and a longtime veteran of state Republican politics, marveled that many people she didn't know attended. "There are so many people I have never seen before," she said. "That's terrific to see so many new faces."
Sauerbrey said the Bush campaign is organizing committees among African-Americans and Catholics to build support in those communities.
Republican leaders here are resigned to organizing a campaign without much financial assistance from the Bush campaign, which is putting its resources into several "battleground" states that could decide the election.
Similarly, it's unlikely that Bush himself will make an appearance in Maryland unless polls show the race tightening here.