Thursday, February 7, 2008

2 Endorsements at Obama Rally

The Howard county executive and an influential state senator from Southern Maryland yesterday endorsed Barack Obama as the Illinois senator's presidential campaign sought to broaden its appeal beyond Maryland's Democratic strongholds of Baltimore and Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

County Executive Ken Ulman (D) and Sen. Thomas M. Middleton (D-Charles) said at a rally in Annapolis that they were backing Obama because they were inspired by the political movement he has created.

"In my 62 years, I can't remember a time when Maryland or the United States was holding out hope like they are in this election," said Middleton, a farmer and popular figure in Southern Maryland.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), co-chairman of Obama's Maryland campaign, gave a stirring speech, saying that Obama "was told so many times, 'How dare you hope,' but he hoped anyway."

The campaign's other Maryland co-chairman, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), said Obama will do well in Baltimore and the densely populated Washington suburbs. Gansler highlighted key constituencies, including Jewish, female and Latino voters.

Speaking in Spanish, Gansler introduced Del. Joseline A. Peña-Melnyk (D-Prince George's). She led cheers of "Sí, se puede!" a rallying cry for laborers.

Gansler said Obama volunteers plan to knock on hundreds of doors Saturday in Montgomery.

-- Philip Rucker

Warner's Wife Backing Obama

Former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner (D), a candidate for the U.S. Senate, has said he will not take sides in the race for the Democratic nomination for president.

But his wife, Lisa Collis, has decided to support Sen. Barack Obama. Collis will co-chair the group Virginia Women for Obama. The current first lady, Anne Holton, will be the group's other leader. The Obama campaign released a list of more than 100 Virginia women backing Obama.

Kevin Hall, a spokesman for Warner's Senate campaign, declined to comment about Collis, except to say, "She is a strong, smart, accomplished and independent woman."

Holton is stepping up her role in Obama's campaign. Holton, wife of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), held a conference call with reporters yesterday. She was joined by Megan Beyer, wife of former lieutenant governor Donald S. Beyer, who also supports Obama.

Kaine endorsed Obama last year. Holton is the daughter of former Virginia governor A. Linwood Holton Jr., who in 1969 was elected the state's first Republican governor in the 20th century.

-- Tim Craig

Local Candidate Appearances

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) will attend a "Solutions for America" rally at 2 p.m. today at Washington-Lee High School, 1300 N. Quincy St., Arlington.


Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) will appear today at the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St. NW in the District. Romney will speak at 12:30 p.m. and McCain at 3. Romney will also appear at 6:30 p.m. at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, hosted by the Baltimore County Republican Party, at Dewey Lowman American Legion Post 109, 1610 Old Sulphur Spring Rd., Halethorpe.

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