Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ruthann Aron: A Deadly Campaign

An Uncompromising Campaign

Retired Democratic Senator Paul Sarbanes
Retired Democratic Senator Paul

In the early 1990s, Ruthann once again shifted gears in her career, boldly venturing into the world of politics. After briefly serving as president of the West Montgomery County Citizen's Association, Ruthann lobbied for a position on Montgomery County's prestigious Planning Board in 1992. She was voted in on a narrow margin.

The Planning Board position involved, among other things, allocating millions of dollars towards the development of new real estate projects that were aimed at maintaining and improving the design of the community. The power and influence that came with the job was enticing. It likely had a great effect on Ruthann, propelling her to seek a more weighty position in the upper echelon of the United States government.

Former Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee, William E. Brock III
Former Republican U.S. Senator from
Tennessee, William E. Brock III

Initially, Ruthann ran for a Republican seat in the House of Delegates. However, she quickly changed her strategy and focused her attention on a U.S. Senate seat that had been occupied for three consecutive terms by Democrat Senator Paul Sarbanes. At the time, the Republican National Committee was looking for a female candidate to take his place and they set their eyes on Ruthann. Yet, before she could take on Sarbanes, she had to first defeat former Republican U.S.Senator fromTennessee, William E. Brock III, in the 1994 Republican primary. It would prove to be a vicious battle.

Ruthann, a five-foot, one-inch fireball with a reputation for being combative and tenacious, ran an aggressive campaign. From the start, she went into attack mode, launching a series of television advertisements aimed at destroying Brock's chances of winning. The ads were followed by an on-the-road campaign where she spoke before public audiences, attacking Brock for his, "candy fortune inheritance, voting record on taxes, business disclosures, voting record on civil rights, fundraising, [and] voting on Senate pay raises, among other things," Zoroya wrote. Not long into Ruthann's rancorous campaign, tragedy suddenly struck.

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