By Ryan Spass and David Degennaro
BOSTON – Even though Maryland is widely considered one of just a handful of states that is locked up for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, a Maryland campaign strategist said he expects both the Massachusetts Democrat and running mate John Edwards to campaign in Maryland.
“I’m sure that both Sen. Kerry and John Edwards will come to Maryland at some point” before the election, Wayne Rogers, chairman of the Maryland Campaign for Kerry, said Thursday, the final day of the Democratic National Convention.
Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore visited Hollywood, Md., after the 2000 convention to highlight high gas prices. That November, Gore easily beat Republican George W. Bush 57 percent to 40 percent in Maryland.
The last time Maryland voted for a GOP presidential candidate was in 1988, when George H.W. Bush narrowly defeated Michael Dukakis.
Kerry came to Baltimore last month to attend a fund-raiser that brought in more than $1 million.
Now that the continuous speeches, early morning breakfast meetings and late-night receptions that comprised the Democratic National Convention week are over, the Maryland Democrats head home to strategize for the November elections.
“Every single one of our elected officials will be out campaigning for Kerry,” said Rogers, who also was a convention delegate.
Prominent Maryland bureaucrats such as U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, U.S. Sens. Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski, who hopes to win her fourth term in the U.S. Senate, will campaign for Kerry as well as local officials up for election and re-election, he said.
Rogers said because party strategists have been busy at the convention, they haven’t had time to plan many specifics. Rogers did say that house parties and voter registration drives would be involved.
In Western Maryland, Democrats plan to cross the border into West Virginia to help Democrats there win what is expected to be a battleground state. -30- CNS-7