Correction to This Article
A Maryland Notebook item in the Aug. 31 Metro section mischaracterized a portion of a lawsuit filed by Dan Fox, a candidate for Montgomery County state's attorney. Fox alleges that his opponent, Deputy State's Attorney John McCarthy, told a potential voter that Fox is not an attorney -- a claim McCarthy denies.

Steele Gets Boost From Big Apple

By Matthew Mosk
Thursday, August 31, 2006

A boisterous crowd packed into a Potomac diner yesterday to see presidential hopeful and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) join the campaign trail with Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele (R).

Giuliani adhered to the now-familiar themes of Steele's U.S. Senate bid, calling his colleague "strong" and "independent."

"September 11th isn't over," Giuliani told the group, saying that the nation still faces a threat from terrorists and needs to be "on the offensive."

"To get us through times like these, we need leaders," he said, turning to Steele. "This guy is a leader."

Giuliani's appearance brought cheers from the GOP loyalists but did not play well with Al Sharpton, who, on a radio broadcast, vowed to remind Maryland residents that Giuliani was mayor during the police shooting of Amadou Diallo , an unarmed immigrant, and the police assault on Abner Louima . "Mr. Steele, in all due respect, could not find a more polarizing and more reactionary person to bring into Maryland," Sharpton said in a news release.

Steele was asked about Sharpton's comments when he briefly took questions during the event at Flaps restaurant, and he called Sharpton "a friend."

"We don't necessarily agree on everything," Steele said.

Retaliating in Court

Angry about his opponent's comments on the campaign trail, Montgomery County state's attorney candidate Daniel M. Fox took an unusual tack: He sued Deputy State's Attorney John McCarthy , alleging that his Democratic primary opponent has misrepresented Fox's qualifications in public forums and in conversations with potential voters.

Fox alleges in the suit, which was filed Monday in Montgomery Circuit Court, that McCarthy has said that Fox isn't a "practicing attorney" in Maryland. Fox said at least one potential voter thought that meant he wasn't a lawyer at all.

McCarthy said he has run a positive campaign highlighting his 27-year career, most of which he has spent as prosecutor in Montgomery. He said he has not disparaged Fox or misrepresented his opponent's qualifications.

Sewing Up Endorsements

With the Sept. 12 primary less than two weeks away and the general election not far behind, candidates across Maryland announced endorsements yesterday. Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr . and his running mate, Kristen Cox, won support from the National Federation of Independent Businesses. "Maryland's small-business community is the cornerstone of our economy," Ehrlich (R) said. . . . Montgomery County State's Attorney Douglas F . Gansler released the names of 400 lawyers across Maryland who are supporting his bid for state attorney general. "The backing of so many prominent members of our state's legal community gives a tremendous boost to my campaign," he said in a statement. . . . Gansler's opponent in the Democratic primary, Stuart O. Simms, picked up the endorsement from the AFL-CIO. The union had endorsed Montgomery County Council member Tom Perez, who was ousted from the race by a court ruling. . . . Democratic Senate candidate Kweisi Mfume welcomed the support of Maryland's two African American congressmen. "Every day, he gets up and fights for people who are often voiceless," said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who has Mfume's former Baltimore congressional seat. Rep. Albert R. Wynn, whose district includes parts of Prince George's and Montgomery counties, also gave his blessing to Mfume.

Staff writers Ernesto Londoño and John Wagner contributed to this report.

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