Louise Gore, the Republican candidate for governor of Maryland in 1974, says she's all set to pay off her campaign debts from that unsuccessful campaign, including a bill for $1,393 that the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. has been nagging her about.
An attorney for the telephone company says that while he's happy to hear it, if he doesn't see a check in 10 days, he's going to try to force Gore into court.
The bill that has the C&P and Gore at loggerheads stems from telephone service that the Gore campaign received in the fall of 1974.
That was only one of many debts that Gore was saddled with after she lost the race to Marvin Mandel. In all, the bills totaled more than $100,000, according to campaign finance reports filed six months after the election.
But C&P is the only creditor of file suit against her, Gore said yesterday.
David Tonnessen, an attorney for the company, filed suit in Maryland District Court in Montgomery County in December 1976, and the court granted a summary judgement last July ordering Gore to pay. But according to a petition Tonnesson filed this week, Gore has not paid and has refused to answer legal interrogatories to determine her assets.
On Tuesday, Judge Calvin Sanders denied Tonnesson's request that Gore be held in contempt of court, but suggested that the lawyer begin proceedings to force her to appear in court.
That won't be necessary, thank you, says Gore. "He's going to have a check in the mail" before he has to do that, she said yesterday. And next week, she plans to announce her arrangements for paying off all her debts, she said.
"I didn't want to pay any one person off untill I'd paid everyone off," she said. "And that's what I'm now doing."
She is now able to do so, she said, as a result of holding fundraisers, getting contributions from political supporters, and saving her own money.
Gore whose family owns a number of properties in the area, said she had not dipped heavily into her family's money to pay off the debts because "I believe politics belongs to everyone and everyone has a responsibility to it and wants to be a part of it. I felt I had many friends and political backers who wanted to pay off the debt with me."
Tonnesson said yesterday he was glad to hear that the bill would soon be paid. "I think she'll do it," he said. "I don't think she'll want to wind up in court over it."