Balt. Rivals File for Comptrollerís Seat
By Todd Spangler
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) A former congressman who has been chairman of Gov. Parris Glendening's reelection campaign was appointed state comptroller Monday and said he will run for the right to succeed Louis Goldstein in September's Democratic primary.
Michael Darr Barnes, 54, a Washington lawyer and lobbyist who lives in Kensington, joined the swelling field of candidates vying to succeed Goldstein after a group of Baltimore rivals including a former city council president, a former state senator and the current city comptroller filed their candidacies.
In appointing Barnes, Glendening said Barnes has the necessary experience to be Maryland's top tax collector and financial officer. Barnes served four terms as a congressman from Montgomery County before losing a bid for the U.S. Senate to Barbara Mikulski in 1986.
Barnes has not run for office since then.
"It (Glendening's request) got my adrenalin flowing for returning to the fray of direct involvement in public service," said Barnes, who has served as state Democratic Party chairman and in other capacities for several governors.
He was expected to file papers removing himself as Glendening's campaign chairman and announcing his candidacy at the state election board before Monday's 9 p.m. deadline.
A hole in Maryland's political scene was created Friday with the death of Goldstein, 85, who had recently announced he was running for his 11th term as comptroller. With his death, only three days were left for politicians to decide if they would seek the office.
Glendening said he considered several candidates, including U.S. Rep. Benjamin Cardin and Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, before choosing Barnes. Glendening said former Gov. William Donald Schaefer offered to take the job "if we did not find another suitable candidate."
"This is not a replacement," said Glendening. "Someone succeeds Louis Goldstein. No one can replace him."
Even though Barnes will take over as acting comptroller, he could be in for a difficult race in September.
The most notable names to join the Democratic primary were Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt, who showed up at the state election board with about 50 supporters chanting her name; former City Council President Mary Pat Clarke, who lost the Democratic primary for mayor to Kurt Schmoke in 1995; and former state Sen. Julian Lapides, who lost to Ms. Pratt for city comptroller three years ago.
"I believe my chances to win are excellent," said Ms. Pratt, touting her experience as a comptroller and her background as a financial consultant and accountant. If successful, she would be the first black candidate to win statewide office in Maryland.
Lapides, who left his Senate seat in 1994, said all three are strong candidates who "would represent the little guy if elected."
As candidates dashed to Annapolis on Monday to beat the filing deadline at the state Board of Elections, hundreds of Marylanders were passing by the closed casket of the comptroller a few blocks away at the State House.
Goldstein's political shadow was so long it persuaded Harford County Executive Eileen Rehrmann to abandon a possible challenge against him. She decided to take on Glendening instead in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.
Both she and Howard County Executive Charles Ecker, who is running against Ellen Sauerbrey for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, were approached about running for comptroller. Both had apparently decided against it.
Republican Timothy Mayberry, who had already filed to run against Goldstein, got some competition for the nomination: Ardath Cade, an Anne Arundel County government official and the widow of former state Sen. Jack Cade, and Larry Epstein, who won the GOP nod in 1990 before losing to Goldstein.
Epstein, who is an accountant and principal member of Hertzbach & Co., a management consulting firm in Owings Mills, said he believes he has the fiscal savvy to replace Goldstein.
Also filing were three more Democrats, Kenneth Frederick, of Baltimore, Eugene Walsh, of Ocean City, and Joseph Carey, of Brandywine, and three other Republicans, Jeff Hooke, a director with a private investment firm in Chevy Chase, Robert Kearns of Queenstown, and Eugene Zarwell, an international marketing specialist from Gambrills who lost the GOP primary for the 5th Congressional District to John Morgan in 1996.
Zarwell said running for comptroller occurred to him in the middle of the night Saturday, before he had heard that Goldstein had died.
Lapides said he was impressed by all the political movement Monday.
"I'm sure he (Goldstein) is up there enjoying what he has stirred up today in Annapolis," Lapides said.
© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press