- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 17, 2002

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and a string of powerful Democrats gathered at the Bethesda Marriott Hotel last night to praise Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and to raise $100,000 for her gubernatorial campaign.
In a room packed with 1,700 Democrats, mostly women, who each paid $25 to attend, Mrs. Clinton rallied women's votes and applauded Mrs. Townsend's policies. Supporters and well-wishers paid $1,000 per person to attend a reception afterward.
Mrs. Clinton said she was "very proud of Kathleen for the life she's led." Praising her policies on education, health care and gun-control issues, Mrs. Clinton said Mrs. Townsend is a woman who has "truly understood what it is to be a leader. She is ready to take the next step to lead Maryland into the next century with vision, vigor and enthusiasm."
Several national women's groups including EMILY's List, Million Mom March, the National Women's Political Caucus and the National Organization for Women have endorsed Mrs. Townsend, who hopes to become Maryland's first female governor.
At the one-hour rally, both Mrs. Clinton and Mrs. Townsend spoke about the ongoing sniper shootings in the Washington area.
"This is a tough time in our state. A tough time to live in fear. A tough time to wonder what will happen next. But we won't be intimidated This election is about faith in our future. We can live in fear, but also in hope," Mrs. Townsend said.
She also stressed her "vision" for Maryland: more money for education, health care for all and "sensible gun-control laws."
Mrs. Clinton praised the state's initiative on what she said were "difficult choices and creative ideas," like implementing ballistic fingerprinting.
"When we now hear conversations about ballistic fingerprinting, we say, 'Didn't Maryland do that? Didn't Kathleen Kennedy Townsend talk about that?'"
Among the speakers at the rally were Sen. A. Mikulski and state Sens. Gloria G. Lawlah and Ida G. Ruben.
Mrs. Townsend noted that some of the women in the room had broken a "glass ceiling." Miss Mikulski and Mrs. Clinton were the first women to be elected senators from Maryland and New York, respectively.
"You know what? I'd like to break a glass ceiling, too. And with your help, I will," she said.
Mrs. Townsend is facing Republican Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. in the Nov. 5 general election.
With three weeks remaining in the campaign, Mrs. Townsend and Mr. Ehrlich are neck and neck. A Mason-Dixon poll released this week shows 1 percentage point separating them, with Mrs. Townsend leading with 46 percent of the votes.
At a fund-raiser tomorrow, former President Bill Clinton is expected to bring in $500,000 for Mrs. Townsend, who had a $6.6 million war chest when campaign reports were filed Aug. 30, her spokesman, Peter Hamm, said yesterday.
Mrs. Townsend is considered a longtime Clinton loyalist and has called herself a "fan" of the former president.
Earlier this month, President Bush helped raise $1.8 million for Mr. Ehrlich, whose campaign had collected $4.4 million by Aug. 30.
Mrs. Clinton helped raise $250,000 at an Oct. 2 fund-raiser for Christopher Van Hollen, the Montgomery County Democratic candidate for the 8th District congressional seat held by Rep. Constance A. Morella, Republican. First lady Laura Bush is expected to attend a fund-raiser for Mrs. Morella on Oct. 30.

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