Schaefer on Duncan
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."
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