Poole is backing Townsend in '02

June 03, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

With strong ties to both leading candidates for governor, former state delegate D. Bruce Poole said he feels torn this election year.

But in the end, a commitment he made last summer will win out over a long-term friendship.

Poole said he promised fellow Democrat Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend a year ago he would support her candidacy.

At the time, he believed his longtime friend and colleague Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. would stay out of the race.

But Ehrlich jumped in and Poole had to break the news he would be supporting Townsend.

Although Poole and Townsend are close, his friendship with Ehrlich goes back further.

The two men worked at the same Baltimore law firm and were elected to the House of Delegates the same year, 1986. Ehrlich was even in Poole's wedding.

"For me it's been very difficult. Friendships are very important but commitments are very important," he said. "I like Kathleen and she's been very good to me."


Poole said he also shares many of Townsend's political views.

Candidate wears many hats while campaigning

Last week was a busy political week in Washington County, with the Republicans gathering Tuesday in support of gubernatorial hopeful Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and the Democrats rallying around Kathleen Kennedy Townsend the following night.

One familiar face appeared in both crowds, Republican Vikki Nelson.

Nelson, a Republican, said she crossed party lines to attend the Democrats' annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner because she's going to need bipartisan support in her bid for the Maryland House of Delegates.

Nelson has filed to represent District 2A, which covers northern Washington County from Big Pool to Cascade.

Nelson, who is known for her hats, wore a white hat to the GOP event and a black hat to the Democrats' shindig.

"I didn't even think of that, I swear," Nelson said.

Ehrlich, poll say he's gaining support

During his visit to Washington County last week, Robert L. Ehrlich touted a recent poll that shows him closing in on Kathleen Kennedy Townsend with five months to go before the election.

The telephone poll of 1,089 registered voters, conducted by WJLA television over Memorial Day weekend, showed Townsend leading Ehrlich 48 percent to 43 percent. Nine percent of those polled were undecided.

Earlier polls showed Townsend leading by a 15-point margin.

Mooney upset over contents of Web site

Sen. Alex Mooney is upset about a political action committee's Web site that compares his tactics to the Holocaust.

"It's a hateful lie. I'm deeply offended," said Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington.

The Web site,, blasts Mooney for "legalized gay bashing" and says, "If we do not stand up to Senator Mooney's hate, then the homeless, the mentally ill, the elderly or (deja vu) the Jews might be next."

Mooney insists that his opponent, Del. Sue Hecht, is behind the Defeat Mooney Committee, which registered with the state as a political action committee and is taking donations.

The committee and Hecht have repeatedly denied involvement.

Info session set for school board hopefuls

Western Maryland residents who are interested in serving on their local school boards can attend a candidate orientation session scheduled for Tuesday, June 11, in Hagerstown.

The Maryland Association of Boards of Education will conduct a question-and-answer session at the meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Washington County Board of Education, 820 Commonwealth Ave.

The association is trying to encourage community interest and participation in public schools.

Attendance is open to citizens of Washington, Frederick, Allegany and Garrett counties.

Three seats on the seven-member Washington County Board of Education will be decided in the November election.

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