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Race Politics

Both political parties are crying foul over race politics in the U.S. Senate campaign in Maryland.

Democrats held a press conference this morning to decry Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's decision to bring on Doug Heye as a new press secretary. Heye is a political veteran whom Democrats yesterday accused of trying to supress the African American vote when he traveled to Florida in the 2000 presidential elections.

"Our lieutenant governor has the audacity to bring such a person to Maryland?" said Del. Rudolph C. Cane, who chairs the legislative black caucus.

"This is the party that will go low for victory, and we don't need this type of behavior in Maryland," agreed Del. Salima Marriott, who chairs the Baltimore delegation. "We call on the lieutenant governor to make a better decision."

Meanwhile, Republicans were seizing on an internal Democratic National Committee report made public this morning which showed the party's concerns about losing black votes to Steele. The strategy document urged the Democrats to "knock down" Steele as soon as possible.

"The Democrats' Dirty Race-Based Political Playbook is no longer legend, it's a fact," said John Kane, the state GOP chairman, in a press release. "Their fear of Michael Steele's positive message of empowerment and outreach has resulted in the state Democratic Party's desperate and insulting strategy of race-baiting."

Just seven months to election day.

By  |  April 6, 2006; 12:05 PM ET
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