Perez accepts labor backing in AG race

With a purple health care union banner waving beside him outside state office buildings in Baltimore, Thomas E. Perez, a Democratic candidate for Maryland attorney general, accepted the endorsement of labor and other leaders yesterday.

"I believe that access to health care is a civil rights issue as well as a health care issue," Perez said during the brief campaign appearance in the midday heat.


Among those endorsing Perez were the Service Employees International Union - United Health Care Workers East; Baltimore's Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); AFSCME councils that represent state, county and city employees; Baltimore activist Ralph E. Moore Jr.; and elected officials.

"He has been a drum major for social justice," said state Del. Salima S. Marriott, a Baltimore Democrat.


A day earlier, the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO endorsed Perez.

"He has demonstrated that he has an understanding of the issues of working people," said Fred Mason, the union president.

Perez, a Montgomery County Council member, is one of four candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for attorney general in the September primary. The others are Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F. Gansler, Baltimore lawyer J. Wyndal Gordon and former Baltimore State's Attorney Stuart O. Simms.

Frederick County State's Attorney Scott L. Rolle is running for the Republican nomination.

The winner of the November general election will take over the position being vacated by Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr, a Democrat who is retiring.