Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) has been spending a lot of time lately in Montgomery County, the home of his main primary rival, County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D).
Last week, O'Malley visited the place Duncan has sometimes described as his second home -- Prince George's County.
Actually, O'Malley has been making more than a few stops in the county in recent weeks.
He spent some time in Upper Marlboro on July 27. He chatted with Sheriff Michael Jackson, dropped in on council member Thomas E. Dernoga (D-Laurel) and dined with former county executive Wayne K. Curry.
Jonathan Epstein, O'Malley's campaign manager, said the Baltimore mayor, who has his sights set on a run for governor, has been "seeing friends in Prince George's, having meetings and getting to know more people in the county."
O'Malley hasn't just been talking to county political leaders. He's been attending churches and talking to civic leaders and local mayors during his visits.
Dernoga said he enjoyed his half-hour visit with O'Malley, who stopped by the County Council offices after a scheduled meeting with County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) was cancelled.
The two had a lot to talk about -- law school, politics and the late council member Walter H. Maloney, who died in October 2001 while still in office. O'Malley went to school with one of Maloney's sons. Dernoga considered Maloney a mentor. He replaced him on the County Council.
"I'm a Baltimorean," said Dernoga, who grew up in Ellicott City and attended the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore.
"He is clearly ratcheting up his presence in the county," Dernoga said.
Charter Review Planned
The County Council approved a measure last week establishing a commission to review the county charter and conduct a study of the salaries of council members and the county executive.
The county is required to set up the commission every four years, according to Barbara L. Holtz, council administrator.
The council and the county executive will each name three members to the seven-member panel. The commission is expected to begin its work in September and complete its recommendations by Dec. 15.
DOUGLAS M. DUNCAN