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McGuire vows to take back party

August 18, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Terry McGuire seems to live up to his campaign slogan: "A Different Kind of Democrat."

The Davidsonville, Md., physician has taken positions on issues in his gubernatorial campaign that put him at odds with his party's leaders.

McGuire opposes abortion. He thinks taxes are too high and regulations are too burdensome. He thinks the state is soft on crime.

McGuire, 55, is campaigning in an effort to beat Gov. Parris N. Glendening in the Sept. 15 Democratic primary.

"I think the Democrats in this state should take back their party from a small cadre of extreme liberals who are out of touch with average voters and average Democrats," he said.

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McGuire attended a parole hearing in Hagerstown on Monday in support of a couple whose daughters were murdered in 1972.

State parole commissioners refused to release Scott Caldwell, whose two-life-term sentence for the slayings had been reduced by former Gov. William Donald Schaefer on his last day in office.

As governor, McGuire said he would push for a law that eliminates parole for violent offenders. Glendening has refused to parole convicted murderers, but McGuire said he would go further.

"That's all well and good. But I think it should be encoded into law so it takes the prerogative out of the governor's hand," he said.

McGuire also would push for a law banning a kind of late-term abortion that opponents call "partial-birth" abortion. For other kinds of abortions, he said he favors parental notification and consent laws for minors.

In campaign appearances, Glendening touts his record on taxes, saying he has not raised taxes in any of his four years in office and has initiated income tax cuts.

McGuire scoffs at those initiatives and says Marylanders pay a "hidden tax" in bond payments.

"His tax cut is a mere weak-hearted ploy to blunt (GOP front-runner) Ellen Sauerbrey's tax-cut proposal," he said.

McGuire said he would fight for a law that would require any excess surpluses to be returned automatically to taxpayers.

When Eileen M. Rehrmann dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination, many analysts concluded that Glendening was freed of a serious primary battle. Only the little-known McGuire and Lawrence K. Freeman, a Lyndon LaRouche follower, remain in the primary race.

McGuire said he does not pay attention to analysts.

"His support is soft We're going to upset this governor," he said.

McGuire practiced medicine in his native Prince George's County for 28 years and manages two family farms.

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