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Another Candidate for Comptroller

Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens said today she plans to join the race for comptroller, taking on incumbent William Donald Schaefer, as well as Montgomery County Del. Peter Franchot in the Democratic primary.

Owens, who is leaving the county spot after two terms, told the Annapolis Capital in a story that ran this morning:
"I think with my eight years in Anne Arundel County and my background, I am well-suited for that position."

Owens has also discussed a bid for the U.S. Senate or the congressional seat now held by Rep. Ben Cardin (who's running for Senate).

Schaefer, 84, a former mayor of Baltimore and governor, has alienated many Democrats with his support for many of the policies of Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., as well as with remarks disparaging immigrants and AIDS patients and with an incident this spring in which he ogled a 24-year-old aide to the governor. Polls show him just a few percentage points ahead of Franchot, who has far less name recognition across the state.

Franchot said in a statement that he would not be changing his campaign slogan: "The Only Democrat for Comptroller."

"If you love Bob Ehrlich, you'll love Don Schaefer and Janet Owens. Janet Owens is pro-development, pro-slots and pro-Ehrlich. Like Schaefer, she would be the crucial second vote for Bob Ehrlich on the Board of Public Works."

By Phyllis Jordan  |  May 4, 2006; 2:10 PM ET
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Does this post realy say that Schaefer is 64 years old?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2006 4:49 PM | Report abuse

At least Ms. Owens has run something. The only thing Mr. Franchot has run is his mouth.

Posted by: mercury | May 4, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Age fixed...he's 84

Posted by: Phyllis Jordan | May 4, 2006 7:10 PM | Report abuse

I don't know Janet Owens, but this seems like spineless opportunism to me. Why is she in this race? She contemplated running for congress but didn't because too many other people were running and she couldn't win.

She started considering Comptroller when someone else stepped into the race and the current Comptroller began to look vulnerable.

Janet Owens--do you really want this job? Is it that you don't want Peter Franchot to have the job? Or are you just looking for any well-paying public job that you think you have a chance of winning?

Go back to the sidelines.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2006 7:59 PM | Report abuse

The funniest thing is that she sat down with William Donald Schaefer last night before she announced. It sounds like the fix is in

Posted by: Laughable | May 4, 2006 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Laughable... do you think she's trying to split the disenchanted democratic vote w/ Franchot to help Schaefer win the nomination?

Either way, she's getting in the game too late to win... Franchot has already locked up a lot of the major endorsements (and rightly so).

Posted by: John | May 5, 2006 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Franchot has locked up a lot of the major endorsements of whom? The left wing fringe groups? Everyone knows Peter Franchot is from the far wings of the party. Quite frankly, even against an aging WDS he stood no chance.

I do concur though that Owens running will split the vote and WDS will win re-election as a result.

And I could've sworn Janet Owens promised (at least to the baltsun) that she wouldn't run if WDS did. Riiiiiight. Hypocrits in the Maryland Democratic Party seem a dime a dozen these days.

Posted by: Bryan | May 5, 2006 12:59 AM | Report abuse

In the Democratic primary, I don't consider the AFL-CIO, Progressive Maryland, and the Western Maryland Summit of the MD Democratic Party to be left wing fringe groups. These are the groups that provide a lot of momentum and will turn the election.

Posted by: John | May 5, 2006 5:48 AM | Report abuse

Owen's only contribution to this race is as a spoiler who will try to split the anti-schaefer voe. "I'm running for Comptroller and not against Don Schaefer"...Oh, I bet she is! She is running to save Willie Don and I urge democratic voters to see through this charade. Voting for Owens is voting for Schaefer.

Posted by: Baltimore Voter | May 5, 2006 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Can we delete that comment from che? It has absolutely nothnig to do with this post and makes scrolling through the comments a pain in the rear.

Posted by: Fred | May 5, 2006 8:31 AM | Report abuse

What about the possibility that Owens and Schaefer appeal to the same type of voter? The way I see it, this could HELP Franchot in the end.

Posted by: Laughable | May 5, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for deleting che's "comment".

Back to the topic at hand, I have to agree with Laughable - Owens may actually take votes from Schaefer. I'm sure there are plenty of Democrats out there who may not like Scahefer and think he should be replaced, but could not vote for someone as liberal as Franchot adn therefore are stuck voting for Schaefer. Now they have a more moderate option in Owens to pick if they are tired of Schaefer and his antics.

Posted by: Fred | May 5, 2006 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I believe that Franchot has also been endorsed by SEIU 1199 and perhaps the SEIU state council.

In terms of engagement of members and help going door to door, and SEIU endorsement is probably more important than one from the AFL-CIO.

Teachers endorse on May 20--we'll see who they pick.

You can't dismiss that anyone grassroots dem-leaning group that has endorsed has picked Franchot.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2006 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Schaefer was going to win this race one way or another, but Owens' entry only serves to hamper Franchot (anti-Schaefer votes) further. I suspect Owens & Schaefer colluded to water down Franchot's votes and/or line the Queen of Sprawl (Owens) up for the position when Schaefer eventually does leave office (most likely in a pine box).

Posted by: AACounty | May 5, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Two more nitwits for Schaefer to roll over.

Posted by: Steve | May 5, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Ok so Franchot got the labor endorsements because he picked Tim Daly to be his campaign manager for a while (Daly is a big union guy and well connected with SEIU) what endorsements has he actually won?

Posted by: Bryan | May 5, 2006 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Let's get one thing straight you pundit wannabes: endorsements amount to squat. How 'bout all those great endorsements for Kathleen "I'm Clueless" Kennedy Townsend? Those really helped her campaign. The fact of the matter is that most voters today aren't sheep who blindly follow what some board members have decided how they should vote. All endorsements garner is a photo op and a press release for the candidate. That's it.

Posted by: mercury | May 8, 2006 6:13 PM | Report abuse

I don't know Mercury, sometimes they garner a long-winded article in certain Maryland newspapers. I agree though that they hardly switch the voters opinions unless the voters love the person endorsing (and how many politicians are left that people really love?).

Posted by: Bryan | May 8, 2006 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Endorsements mean nothing? If you truly think that, you need to stop commenting on political issues entirely. Labor unions, progressive groups, etc. all lead to higher name ID, an instant grassroots network to use to get out the vote, increased fundraising potential, you name it! I love reading your posts because its obvious your hatred of certain candidates blinds you to reality.

Posted by: Kenneth | May 10, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

What's your frequency, Kenneth? Far left or far right on the dial? I'm glad you love reading my posts, but you shouldn't read hate in my writing, though I will admit having no respect for "certain candidates." It's hard to respect anyone who has accomplished nothing in their public service (term used loosely) career, except to excel at media whoredom and lie about their opponent's positions and record. There's also a difference between an endorsement from the board of directors of a union and how the rank and file membership vote. Case in point: the AFL-CIO has never endorsed William Donald Schaefer. Has it hurt him? I would have to say no, since he has never lost an election. It seems to me that union members--like most voters--are smart enough to make up their own minds and not be swayed by the fringe demagogues that special interest represent.

Posted by: mercury | May 10, 2006 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Of course there's a difference between an endorsement from union leaders and actually having their members turn out to the polls for their candidate. This time around, having taken a pass on actively trying to oust Schaefer in 2002, they have a candidate with the record and fundraising ability to take him head on, they've endorsed Franchot, and they're making this an important race. If you think otherwise, again you simply haven't been in the loop. You're right, though. Union members like most voters are smart enough to make up their own minds and vote for a candidate who will use the Comptroller's office to improve people's lives rather than using it as a soap box to spew out vitriol and hatred for anyone who isn't a heterosexual, white, male conservative. And Franchot's record is pretty clear, he's had great successes in his 20 years in the MGA, and I'd challenge you to identify one instance where he has actually lied about an opponent. You are grasping at straws.

Posted by: Kenneth | May 11, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

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