ANNAPOLIS, JULY 25 -- Eight candidates for the Maryland Senate, equally divided between challengers and incumbents, will get the bulk of financial support from the abortion-rights group Choice PAC, the organization's chairman announced today.
Steve Rivelis said the largest amounts, at least $1,000 each, would go to the Sept. 11 Democratic primary candidates challenging some of the incumbents who successfully blocked passage of an abortion-rights measure in the General Assembly earlier this year.
The challengers include two candidates in Montgomery County, Dels. Mary H. Boergers and Patricia R. Sher, and one from Prince George's, civic activist Terezie S. Bohrer. Janice Piccinini, former president of the Maryland State Teachers' Association, won Choice PAC's support in her Baltimore County Senate race.
Incumbents who will get priority for assistance from the PAC are Sens. Albert R. Wynn (D-Prince George's), Edward J. Kasemeyer (D-Howard/Montgomery), Sharon W. Hornberger (R-Baltimore/Carroll counties) and John A. Pica Jr. (D-Baltimore).
Despite earlier reports that Choice PAC might support the reelection campaign of Sen. Frank J. Komenda (D-Prince George's), Rivelis said today that the group had not made a decision on whether to back Komenda or his primary challenger, Del. Gloria Gary Lawlah. Komenda voted against the abortion-rights bill in March; Lawlah says she is an advocate of abortion rights.
Komenda has been targeted for defeat by the Maryland chapter of the National Abortion Rights Action League, but some abortion-rights senators said Komenda should be spared because he voted to end the filibuster that blocked passage of the bill.
Choice PAC expects to spend $50,000 before the primary, and Rivelis said that more than 80 percent would be devoted to Senate candidates.