In Senate race: 7 is a crowd
The political strategist behind Kweisi Mfume's campaign for U.S. Senate said this week he believes the increasingly crowded field in the Democratic primary could put the squeeze on Ben Cardin, who is leading the field in fundraising and endorsements.
Last week, former Baltimore County Executive Dennis Rasmussen joined the race. And this week, Montgomery County businessman Josh Rales is expected to formally jump in. That would leave Mfume, a former congressman and NAACP president, as the only African American candidate in a growing field that also includes forensic psychiatrist Lise Van Susteren, American University professor Allan J. Lichtman, and A. Robert Kaufman.
"Any traction they get comes at Cardin's expense," said Joe Trippi, who is advising the Mfume campaign. I'd love to hear how they say that any of this is good for them."
Cardin, a 10-term congressman from Baltimore County who is viewed as the early front-runner, says he finds that viewpoint offensive, in that it assumes African American voters will gravitate to the only black candidate.
"To suggest that a voter is going to vote for one of us because of race, I think is really demeaning," Cardin said. "I have strong credentials among African American voters. I have represented large populations of black voters, and I have championed issues critical to African American communities. I think that's going to help me."
The idea has currency among Mfume supporters, who believe both Rasmussen and Rales will chase voters in Cardin's base, said Del. Nathaniel T. Oaks (D-Baltimore).
"I think [the additional candidates] could do nothing but help Kweisi," Oaks said.
Allies of Cardin say, not so fast.
"None of these other candidates has any name recognition," said Del. Samuel Rosenberg (D-Baltimore), who noted that Rasmussen has not been on a ballot in 16 years. "I don't think those people have much credibility in a statewide race."
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said he thinks it ill advised to speculate about how the growing field of candidates will change the dynamics of the race.
"The Democrats have a candidate for everyone," Miller laughed. "Hopefully the cream will rise to the top."
Posted by: Two Party System in Maryland | January 14, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Two Party System in Maryland | January 14, 2006 11:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Marc Jan | January 14, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Phil | January 14, 2006 7:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Joe Trippi | January 14, 2006 10:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Bob | January 15, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Marc Jan | January 15, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Joe Trippi | January 17, 2006 4:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Marc Jan | January 19, 2006 6:58 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.