While 12 of Maryland’s 106 Democratic delegates are still officially pledged to vote for former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley at the Democratic National Convention this week in Los Angeles, delegation members said they will be united behind Vice President Al Gore’s nomination.
There is little doubt among the delegation members that Gore will wind up with all of Maryland’s 95 votes. Bradley’s release of his delegates is seen as little more than a formality, and many of his Maryland delegates went to Los Angeles saying they were planning to vote for Gore anyway.
“There’s no question the support for Gore is there,” said Grace Connolly a Bradley delegate from Towson. “While [Bradley] may have been our first choice, we’re going to support the vice president.”
Connolly was elected as a delegate, along with the 11 other Bradley supporters, in the Maryland Democratic primary on March 7. Bradley withdrew from the race soon after that, after failing to win a single primary.
Connolly said she has remained in contact with Bradley’s office and that she plans to attend a meeting of all Bradley delegates in Los Angeles.
“We’re going to meet with Mr. Bradley then,” she said. “I’m sure he’ll encourage us to get behind Al Gore.”
Bradley delegate Charles Baum of Severna Park said he also plans to attend the meeting and will make up his mind then.
“My decision will be based on what Bill tells us to do,” Baum said. “Given he’s endorsed Gore, I’m sure he’ll encourage us to support him.”
While Bradley announced his endorsement of Gore in Green Bay, Wis., on July 13, he has yet to formally release his delegates to the vice president. Bradley’s office could not be reached for comment.
Other Maryland delegates who have indicated that they will support Gore include Baltimore City Council Vice President Stephanie Rawlings, state Delegate Samuel I. “Sandy” Rosenberg, D-Baltimore, and state Sen. Brian E. Frosh, D- Montgomery.
Frosh said he is enthusiastically supporting Gore and is confident that the vice president will be elected on the first ballot.
“Although I’m a delegate pledged to vote for Bradley, eventually I will be voting for the vice president,” Frosh said. “I have a moral obligation to follow the advice of the Bradley campaign.”
Upper Marlboro resident Henry T. Arrington said that while he would have liked to see Bradley clinch the nomination, he will not hesitate to back Gore.
“I think Bradley would have made a fine candidate and a fine president,” Arrington said. “But it’s more important to the keep going the Democratic momentum that we’ve started. I think Mr. Gore will do equally as well.”