- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 16, 2003

ANNAPOLIS The swearing-in of Maryland's first Republican governor in 36 years inspired a sale at the Chesapeake Photo Gallery, across from the State House.
"Inauguration Day consolation sale 20% off for Democrats," read the large blue banner hanging across the gallery doorway.
Gallery owner Eric Lund, a registered independent who voted for Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., said he wasn't the only one amused by the sale.
"The governor and his wife noticed it and they doubled over," Mr. Lund said. "I think they thought it was humorous, tongue-in-cheek."
The inaugural parade, which followed the swearing-in ceremony and a succession of speeches on the steps of the State House, comprised 23 high school marching bands, one from each county in the state.
The crowd reflected the state's ethnic diversity and the broad appeal that helped gain the election victory for Mr. Ehrlich and Michael S. Steele, the first black elected as Maryland's lieutenant governor
The symbolism of Mr. Steele's historic inauguration falling on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday was not lost on those in attendance.
"The dream is coming true," said St. George Crosse, a black pastor from Overcomers Tabernacle in Baltimore. "I hope the entire state will be inspired by the sight of Ehrlich and Steele working together."
Danny Glover, a Democrat and media consultant from Baltimore, said Mr. Ehrlich's willingness to engage people of all backgrounds and his choice of Mr. Steele as a running mate swayed many minority voters who usually support Democrats.
"Race has separated us a long time, and it is time to overcome that," Mr. Glover said. "Working together, all people, that's what Dr. King would have."
On hand for the inauguration were some die-hard Republicans who hadn't seen a governor from their party in Maryland since after Spiro T. Agnew took the oath in 1967.
Susan DeMario, a 49-year-old Republican from Dundalk, said she had doubted if she would see another Republican governor in her lifetime. "I hoped there would be one, but I wasn't sure," she said.
Mrs. DeMario also was impressed by the diversity of the crowd. "It's a great feeling today, seeing people of all races it's really great," she said.
She wore a happy-face pin that read: "Happiness is a Republican governor."
At the photo gallery, Mr. Lund wasn't strictly enforcing the Democrats-only sale: Customers didn't have to present a voter-registration card. Their word would be accepted, a policy that made Mr. Lund wonder if any Republicans might try to pass as Democrats to save a buck.
He would never find out. By the time the parade ended, none of the thousands of people attending the inauguration had bought any of the gallery's framed photographs of seascapes, lighthouses and various nautical settings.
It was a one-day sale, but Mr. Lund said he would make an exception for Mr. Ehrlich. "If the governor comes in in a week or so, we will be glad to give him a discount," he said.


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