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Stacking the Straw Poll?


An early straw poll in Maryland's Democratic primary for governor is planned for Saturday at a gathering of Western Maryland Democrats. And one candidate -- Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan -- is offering some help to those who would like to go.

An e-mail sent out to the Frederick County Democrats listserv notes that Duncan's campaign "is looking for Democrats who are interested in attending ..... as representatives on behalf of the campaign" and offers the following enticement: "The campaign will provide transportation to and from the event as well as cover the $40 entrance fee."

Jonathan Epstein, campaign manager for the other Democratic candidate--Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley--said the e-mail suggests Duncan is trying to "buy votes to win a straw poll." Epstein added, "They don't even do that in Chicago anymore."

Duncan spokeswoman Jody Couser said Epstein was overreacting.

"That accusation is quite a stretch," she said. " We have literally a handful, about five seats, available at the event and on our 'Think Bigger Express' that we wanted to make available to supporters, particularly college students who may not have transportation or the funds to attend this event."

John Wagner

By Phyllis Jordan  |  April 2, 2006; 6:51 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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