Bank vice president Joseph C. McGrath -- Who entered the Republican primary for Montgomery County executive less than three months ago with virtually no name recognition, no money and no track record in elected politics--yesterday introduced a full slate of seven GOP council running mates.
McGrath, who has emerged from political obscurity to become the best-funded of the three GOP executive candidates, said his slate mates, if elected, would help him run the government as "Montgomery county's fourth largest business."
Dubbed the "People for People" team, McGrath's slate includes a police officer, a moderate-to-conservative black Republican researcher, a former federal analyst and teacher, and four businessmen.
None of the seven council candidates backing McGrath has ever held office. McGrath's participation in politics has been been largely limited to fund-raising, serving as a cochairman of the last Lincoln Day dinner, as chairman of last year's Neighbor-to-Neighbor fund-raising drive, and as a precinct worker in Silver Spring.
McGrath said he was looking for businessmen and civic leaders "because I think it's time we move away from having professional politicians running for office." McGrath sees himself as a chief executive officer and the council as the board of directors of the county.
McGrath's aggressive fund-raising has produced close to $50,000, much of it from private corporations, said his campaign director, Paget Wilson Hinch. None of that money has come from corporate political action committees, she said.
"He has raised an awful lot of money, comparatively speaking," said GOP chairman Paul Clark. "When you raise an awful lot of money, it makes you a serious candidate. Money doesn't buy votes, but it buys you access to votes."
The access will come in the form of radio advertisements, to begin sometime in August, and a mass mailing soon, McGrath said.
McGrath has also benefited from the GOP's split primary between himself, Del. Luiz Simmons, a moderate, and conservative John P. (Jack) Hewitt, who switched from the Democratic Party last May. Simmons has alienated the party's small but vocal right wing, which has split between McGrath and Hewitt.
McGrath's council running mates are: Alvin J. Arnett, a Conrail vice president and former director of the Office of Economic Opportunity under President Nixon; police officer Ronald S. Bird; Samuel W. (Curly) Bogley, a C & P Telephone Co. employe; Jacqulyn Endres, a former systems analyst and Blair High School PTA member; Mike Helmantoler, a telecommunications specialist; Robert J. Hydorn, a supply company vice president and upcounty activist; and Leonard H. Robinson, Jr. director of an international study center for the Battelle research corporation.
Robinson is one of only two black candidates in the county council race.