Washington County campaign notes

October 27, 2008

Dueling partisan polls

Democrat Jennifer Dougherty is pointing to an Oct. 6 poll as a sign she's within "striking distance" of defeating U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.

Dougherty said last week that public-opinion research company Garin-Hart-Yang conducted the statewide poll. A question about the 6th District race, she said, had Bartlett ahead 45 percent to 39 percent, with 16 percent undecided (apparently ignoring the third candidate, Libertarian Gary W. Hoover Sr.).

Noting that Democrats commissioned the poll, Lisa Wright, Bartlett's press secretary, called Dougherty's optimism "wishful spin."

For Bartlett's campaign, The Tarrance Group did its own poll and found Bartlett ahead by "more than a double-digit spread," Wright said.

Bartlett campaign spokesman Bud Otis wouldn't elaborate, but confirmed Wright's characterization of Bartlett's lead.

Local LWV supports early voting, but not slots

The League of Women Voters of Washington County, in letters to the editor, is urging voters to support one Maryland ballot measure on Nov. 4, but not the other.


The league says it likes a proposal for early voting to help people who can't get to polls on Election Day, without having to explain why.

The league opposes a referendum to legalize slot machines, arguing that the state constitution should be "clear, concise and confined to fundamentals," and gambling isn't a way to solve fiscal problems.

Prayers for Obama

A local group called Women for Obama is holding a "Prayers for Obama" dinner at the Ruritan Community Building, 18007 Maugans Ave., Maugansville, on Sunday. Dinner will be at 3 p.m. and the program will run from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Local and state officials and candidates are expected to attend.

Tickets are $15 each. Contact Sylvia Bell at or 301-733-8410.

Two groups make BOE picks

Two education organizations have announced endorsements for the four Washington County Board of Education seats on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The Washington County Teachers Association is backing Donna Brightman, Jacqueline B. Fischer, Meredith Fouche and Wayne D. Ridenour.

Denise D. Fry, president of the teachers' union, said those four supported increased teacher pay, professional development opportunities for teachers, the possibility of contractually approved retiree benefits and small class sizes, Fry said.

In a letter to the editor, the Washington County Retired School Administrators backed Fischer, Ridenour, Justin M. Hartings and W. Edward Forrest.

The organization said Fischer, Forrest and Ridenour have experience from serving on the board, while Hartings "brings a different perspective."

-- Andrew Schotz and Erin Cunningham

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