By Sarah Anchors and Kevin Mcnulty
ANNAPOLIS – Gov. Parris N. Glendening and GOP nominee Ellen R. Sauerbrey are shifting their campaigns into overdrive, dueling for votes aboard buses touring Maryland in the race’s final days.
Residents will have plenty of chances to gander at the painted and sign-plastered Sauerbrey bus, which leaves the Garrett County Courthouse Friday morning for a 23-stop tour through every county. It ends Sunday night at the State House.
“If we didn’t tour all around the state we would be just like the Glendening campaign, only concentrating on Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and I think people really resent that,” said Joyce Lyons Terhes, who chairs the Maryland Republican Party.
Glendening’s camp has tentatively scheduled 15 stops through four bus trips – one each on Friday and Saturday and two on Monday. Most of the tours will start and end at the governor’s Riverdale headquarters and swing through Baltimore City and Prince George’s, Montgomery and Baltimore counties.
Both candidates say they want to build excitement and take their platforms directly to voters.
To win, political analysts say, each will have to keep their core supporters and woo the state’s swing votes.
“Moderate women are probably the largest swing voting bloc,” said Keith Haller, president of the Bethesda polling firm, Potomac Survey Research. “Some have been supporting Sauerbrey and are now back in Glendening’s columns.”
The governor has been rallying his most ardent supporters this week, campaigning in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore City on Wednesday and Thursday. These are the only jurisdictions the Democrat won in 1994 and they accounted for more than half of his votes.
In Fairmount Heights on Thursday, Glendening and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-5th District, announced a $170,000 expansion of the state’s “HotSpots Communities” program.
The federal money will pool federal, Maryland and D.C. police and parole officers to fight crime along the border of Washington, D.C., and Prince George’s County. Hoyer said he will seek more funding next year, and the state has promised to give $300,000 to $500,000 as part of the effort.
Meanwhile, Sauerbrey Thursday morning toured the Hope Faith Christian Academy in Capitol Heights with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp. They both praised the discipline, 15-student classes and computers at the predominantly black school.
“Giving people the best chance to get a good education is the best way to ensure equal opportunity,” Sauerbrey said, lauding the “sacrifice your parents make” to pay the school’s $3,300 tuition.
Kemp, a former congressman and former professional football player, told 3- and 4-year-olds to study hard, asked sixth- graders what they want to be when they grow up, and described Sauerbrey’s positions even more forcefully than she did.
“[Sauerbrey] cares passionately about economic expansion so parents have the choice to send their children to public or private school,” Kemp said. Sauerbrey urged administrators and teachers to vote. “Democrats too often take the black vote for granted,” she said. -30-