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Candidates make pitches at GOP picnic

August 27, 1998

GOP picnicBy BRENDAN KIRBY / Staff Writer

photo: MIKE CRUPI / staff photographer [enlarge]




WILLIAMSPORT - the Washington County Republican Club auctioned off baked goods at its picnic Wednesday evening.

A little earlier, the picnic was the setting for another kind of auction - a political auction.

Fifty-two candidates for office lined up at the Potomac Fish & Game Club south of Williamsport to take turns appealing to the more than 200 people who showed up.

One by one, amid technical problems with the microphone, the candidates struggled to get their messages out above the din of the picnickers.

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Some of the appeals were earnest.

"Do you want Donald Schaefer to be the next comptroller of the state of Maryland?" Boonsboro accountant Timothy R. Mayberry asked to a chorus of nos. "If we don't elect a candidate in the primary with a financial background, we're going to get Donald Schaefer."

Former Baltimore mayor and Maryland Gov. William Donald Schaefer is running in the Democratic primary for the comptroller's post.

Some of the appeals were folksy.

"I love coming to a Republican party," said Michael Steele, a Republican leader in Prince George's County who also is seeking the GOP's comptroller nomination.

Some of the appeals were humble.

Washington County Commissioners candidate John P. Corderman asked voters to "remember me as your third, fourth or fifth choice. I'd appreciate it."

Some made bold promises.

"If I'm elected, Washington County schools will be No. 1 in the state of Maryland," declared school board candidate William Ross Cunningham.

Some appeared to tailor their messages to appeal to the predominantly Republican audience.

School board member Doris J. Nipps told the crowd she is a registered Republican and a member of the Washington County Republican Club.

Gregory C. Bannon, a Hagerstown lawyer who is challenging two sitting judges, W. Kennedy Boone III and Donald E. Beachley, took a jab at Democratic Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

"I'm the only candidate who is running for judge in Washington County who is not a Parris Glendening appointee," he said.

Beachley tried to turn that theme right back on Bannon: "I gave zero to Parris Glendening whereas Greg Bannon gave $500 to Parris Glendening."

Some candidates focused on ideology.

Alex X. Mooney, who is hoping to knock off state Sen. John W. Derr, R-Frederick/Washington, in the GOP primary, said Derr "has consistently campaigned for liberal Democrats."

Other candidates concentrated on nuts-and-bolts issues.

State Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, drew loud applause when he talked about his 24-year record as a state legislator.

"During that time, I've worked on approximately 72,000 constituent problems," he said.

Richard "Dick" Everhart, picnic co-chairman, said he was pleased with the turnout.

"We didn't think we'd get that many candidates," he said.

It came a day before a similar event sponsored by the Washington County Democratic Central Committee. Tonight's event begins at 6:30 at the Red Men's Club.

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