By Kevin Mcnulty and Sarah Anchors
ANNAPOLIS – National Democrats and Republicans are throwing their weight behind Maryland’s candidates for governor as the close race enters its final days.
Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening appeared Tuesday with Vice President Al Gore, Wednesday with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D- Mass., and is scheduled to tour churches Sunday with President Clinton, said Len Foxwell, a campaign spokesman for the governor.
“The president knows it’s necessary to re-elect a Democratic governor here,” said Peter Krauser, who chairs the Maryland Democratic Party. “The stakes are very high.”
Glendening and GOP nominee Ellen R. Sauerbrey “have very different political philosophies, very different visions,” Krauser said.
The Republican National Committee, meanwhile, has bought television issue ads in Maryland and given Sauerbrey “some financial support,” said RNC spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick. “We are fully committed to victory for Ellen Sauerbrey and what she represents for Maryland families,” Fitzpatrick said.
In September, former President Bush and former Vice President Dan Quayle were among the Republicans helping Sauerbrey raise money. On Thursday, former Housing and Urban Development Department Secretary Jack Kemp is scheduled to campaign with her.
Both sides say the election’s outcome is critical: Congress is giving the states a larger role in implementing policy, and the dominant party in the state legislatures and Congress will control the redrawing of district boundary lines after the 2000 census.
Democrats say they hope the besieged Clinton will lift Glendening beyond Sauerbrey’s reach.
“[Clinton’s] treatment by congressional Republicans has galvanized state Democrats,” Krauser said.
But Republicans say Glendening’s association with the president and the Monica Lewinsky scandal could cost him. “Republicans are out there campaigning on their record of accomplishment and the future, and Parris Glendening and Bill Clinton have both had problems with serious ethical questions,” Fitzpatrick said. “If Glendening and Clinton are standing up there together, it will send a powerful message.” -30-