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Schaefer on Duncan

Governor

Comptroller William Donald Schaefer reaffirmed his support for Montgomery County Executive's Douglas M. Duncan's bid for the Democratic nomination for governor this morning, but refused to say whether he would support Duncan in a general election match up against Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Schaefer and Duncan joined in Rockville to announce state and local aid is available to help Montgomery County residents pay winter home heating bills.

Duncan trails his opponent in the Democratic primary, Baltimore Mayor Martin J O'Malley, in the polls and fundraising, causing some party leaders to suggest he should consider dropping out of the race. But Schaefer, a former governor and mayor of Baltimore, dismissed such talk.

"It's nice to have a lot of money, but if you don't, you have to run a good campaign," Schaefer said. "Have you ever seen (Duncan) campaign? He's a good campaigner and he cares about people."

Campaign finance reports released this week show O'Malley with $4.2 million in the bank while Duncan lags behind with about $1.4 million. Ehrlich has $8.4 million.

When Schaefer was asked how much money Duncan needs to be successful, he said, "If I had $3 million I would feel good."

For his part, Duncan laughed when a reporter asked him if he planned to drop out.

"Voters of Maryland deserve a real choice," Duncan said. "I am the best person for governor. I am the only candidate who has a record of accomplishment and the only candidate who has made education first."

Schaefer said Duncan would be a better governor than O'Malley because the county executive is a "wholesome family man.

"I don't know if you ever watched him with his kids. There is no pretense. There is no fakery...He's got a real heart."

But Schaefer made it clear he plans to continue his chummy relationship with Ehrlich, who he called a "good friend."

Schaefer wouldn't rule out supporting Ehrlich over Duncan in the general election . "I would support somebody. I don't know who," Schaefer said in a response to a question from a reporter. "I am not making any endorsements today. I am for Duncan in the primary election. He's a Democrat. I am a Democrat. I am for him. I've known him for a long period of time."

Tim Craig

By Phyllis Jordan  |  January 20, 2006; 11:59 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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Comments

Is Duncan the only person not realizing Schaefer's ulterior motives?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 20, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse


Duncan ought to turn around and run for Comptroller. I always thought that's the most plausible scenario for state-wide office for him.

Of course that would mean getting into a 3-way primary with Schaeffer and Franchot. How cool would it be if Schaeffer ended up getting dethroned by Duncan??

Posted by: Anon | January 20, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

You don't think Duncan knows Schaefer is going to turn around and endorse Ehrlich, that is if the Governor still has a chance come September. Duncan knows this, and believes he'll need more help to beat O'Malley in the primary than beating Ehrlich in the General. Which to me is the smart move, the enemy of my present enemy is my friend, even if they are the friend of my future enemy!

Posted by: Johnny Spazm | January 20, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

If Duncan runs for Comptroller it will be because Shaeffer would be pressured to retire. However, this would set up an all-Montgomery County Comptroller's race (Duncan, Franchot, and Abrams for the Reps), causing others from other jurisdictions to come in. As a result, Duncan is in a real bind but also sees the end of his political career ahead of him. I am 100% behind O'Malley, but I feel sorry for Duncan. Hate to be in his shoes.

Posted by: Another Anon | January 20, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

End of his politcal career??!?!? What?

If it looks like he won't win a bid for higher office, why wouldn't he consider just running for re-election (with all due respect to Steve Silverman and Ike Leggett)?

Posted by: Anon | January 20, 2006 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone know how much the MD Comptroller makes?

Posted by: s | January 20, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Duncan could turn around and run for County Executive again. He made an abortive run for Governor in 2002. This time around he has passed the point of no return, and he knows it.

Posted by: Anon | January 20, 2006 5:32 PM | Report abuse

I honestly hope that this is the end of Duncan's Political career, he has been messing up Montgomery County's budget for far too long. His election would be horrible for Maryland's.

Posted by: Rachel | January 20, 2006 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Doug Duncan has balanced the budget and promoted liveable communities for EVERY area of Montgomery County for his entire term. MOntgomery County is the most diverse area in the State and the majority of students pass standardized tests. Doug Duncan should be the next governor of Maryland. Schaefer is a good man and knows what is best for MD. Doug Duncan is not a NO. 2 man

Posted by: Jill | January 22, 2006 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I am a vocal supporter of Duncan!! Goo Doug! We support and root for you all the way! :)

Posted by: Veronica | January 24, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Duncan is a joke! The only good thing, if he won the governors race would be, it would get him out of Montgomery County. Between him and Chief Moose, I am not sure who was the bigger joke.

Posted by: Michele | February 23, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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