Sauerbrey Reshuffles Campaign
By Daniel LeDuc
In a telephone conference call over the weekend, Sauerbrey told about two dozen of her activists about the changes, which had been in the works for several weeks and were announced to the rest of her campaign staff on Friday.
Rumblings about Albert's future with the campaign had been heard for weeks. His critics, many of whom declined to speak on the record, complained that the former advance man for Jack Kemp paid insufficient attention to the stroking and feeding of the grass-roots supporters who had backed Sauerbrey since her 1994 gubernatorial campaign.
"The grass roots were shut out," said Daniel Earnshaw, a Harford County lawyer and longtime Sauerbrey fan. "Whoever [has] been giving her this advice the past six months has to be cleaned out."
Albert retains the title of campaign manager, but deputy campaign manager and press secretary Jim Dornan has assumed control of Sauerbrey's scheduling and field operations, in addition to working with reporters, Dornan said yesterday. Dornan has experience running campaigns, having managed the first campaign of U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.).
Dornan said Albert will oversee fund-raising and day-to-day administration of the campaign, which has its headquarters in Towson. Both will report to Jim Anderson, a retired Air Force colonel who oversees Sauerbrey's weekly strategy campaign meetings as deputy general chairman. In addition, John Lloyd, an Annapolis-based GOP consultant, will return to an active role advising Sauerbrey. He had been campaign manager until last summer and had helped hire Albert.
"We directed responsibilities to go with the players' major strengths," Dornan said. "Ellen wanted to utilize the strengths of each of us."
The shake-up comes less than two months before the Sept. 15 primary, in which Sauerbrey faces Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker, who trails her in the polls. Ecker's campaign manager recently quit and has been replaced.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who is again seeking the Democratic nomination, dropped his first campaign manager in May and replaced him with Karen White, the former executive director of the Idaho State Democratic Party.
Albert was not available for comment yesterday, Dornan said.
In a memo to the campaign staff last week, Albert said, "With this team approach, it is our belief that we can achieve maximum results . . . [and] get Ellen on to victory in November."
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