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Samuel A. Culotta

The Baltimore Sun

Samuel A. Culotta, a Baltimore lawyer and perennial Republican mayoral candidate, said he's supporting Sen. John McCain.

"I love Rudy, but I'm for McCain. He's a leader and has the background, knowledge, experience and courage to be president," Culotta, 83, said in an interview.

Culotta, a Northeast Baltimore resident who has practiced law since 1951, served in the administrations of Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin when he was mayor and governor, and was a state delegate from 1954 to 1959.

He described himself as a moderate Republican in the tradition of McKeldin, Charles McC. Mathias, J. Glenn Beall and Gen. James P.S. Deveraux, the hero of Wake Island during World War II.

"This is the Republican Party I remember," he said.

"What I don't like is that today people are now characterized as either conservative Republicans or liberal Republicans. I remember the day when Republicans were simply Republicans," he said.

"I believe in the big tent and broad approach, where both Republicans and Democrats can harbor all kinds of thoughts," Culotta said. "You now have liberals beating down conservatives, and conservatives beating down liberals. This is the biggest change I've seen in both parties in recent years."

In addition to his law practice - "It's how I make my living" - Culotta has served for the last 15 years as a member of the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education, and was its chairman from 1995 to 2002.

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