Monday, July 31, 2006

Balancing the political agenda

Balancing the political agenda

May 11th, 2006

Well, As I've been saying for some time now, the Maryland election landscape is hot!

Here is what the leading news provider for African-Americans in the Baltimore / Washington, DC Metropolitan area and longest running African-American, family-owned newspaper in the nation is saying about the upcoming Maryland election.

L. Nathaniel Rock

Source: The Afro-American Newspaper

For the first time in the history of Maryland politics two Black communities have one of their own running for lieutenant governor, the second top spot in the state. The fact that two top candidates have selected racially mixed teams might set an example for the rest of the nation as to how to involve all segments of the population in the political arena and leave race out of the picture. Then, maybe, citizens can focus on the issues at hand and go to the polls with a renewed interest in voting. In the governor’s race on the Democrat’s side is Stuart O. Simms who has been picked as the running mate of Douglas M. Duncan, the county executive of Montgomery County.

Also on the Democratic ticket is Prince George’s County delegate Anthony Brown, who was selected by Baltimore City Mayor Martin O’Malley as his running mate. Both Duncan and O’Malley are White. Thus, this gives both top candidates a racially mixed team seeking the jobs of governor and lieutenant governor. On the Republican side is Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who has not selected a running mate. He is expected to mount a huge campaign for his re-election for a second term as governor with the help of his buddy, President George Bush.

There are so many issues facing voters from poor schools, high gas prices, pollution, voter’s fraud, that voters must look at the candidates with an eye on who has the background to solve these problems. It will not be easy.
Many voters in Maryland might not know intimately Douglas Duncan but have heard how he worked with the failing schools in his county and turned them around. Mr. Duncan is a quiet, down to earth politician who rarely misses an occasion to shake hands around the room as he listens to citizens either praise or complain.

On the other hand, Stuart Simms, the former state’s attorney and secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, is well-known in certain circles around the state. He has the reputation of being a hard-nosed no-nonsense lawyer. A Harvard classmate of former Baltimore mayor Kurt Schmoke, Mr. Simms has deep ties in Baltimore where he was raised and now has a family; a wife and two boys. His wife, the former Candyce Scott, is the daughter of the late Elsie and David Scott. Her father for years was treasurer of the Prince Hall Masons, one of the largest fraternal groups in the nation.

Marylanders also know Baltimore mayor, Martin O’Malley, who has made many friends in the Black community (and some enemies) as he fought to improve the life of the city by getting rid of old neighborhoods and building new decent housing. The recent fight over control of the schools has put him into the national spotlight as a real warrior who knows how to take on even the governor to battle for what he thinks is right.

At the same time, many do not know intimately Anthony Brown, the decorated war veteran out in Prince George’s County but have heard of his good works. Mr. Brown, a member of the state legislature since 1999 and now its majority whip, is a native of Huntington, N.Y. and a Harvard graduate. Over on the Republican side, Governor Ehrlich, a native of Baltimore, who is completing his first term as governor in this mostly Democratic state, came into office on a platform of restoring fiscal responsibility to the state. He claims he has done this since the state now has a whooping surplus. Now that the interest is high in this upcoming election here are some dates to remember so you can vote in November:

More>>> The Afro-American Newspaper

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