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On Shore, Steele Absent, But Still a Presence

With just a few weeks to Primary Day, most Maryland politicians were packed into the small strip of honky tonk, miniature golf and beach resorts that is Ocean City.

Not present for the Maryland Association of Counties conference here, though, was Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, the Republican who is seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate this fall. But that didn't mean Steele wasn't a presence here anyway.

Democratic frontfunner and U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin maintained a packed schedule of stops in and around Ocean City, telling a group gathered for the conference that his wife advised him to remember the event is bipartisan.

"She told me, 'Please don't say anything nasty about Republicans.' And I said, 'I don't need to do that; Michael Steele's done a pretty good job of that himself!'"

Down the road, Steele's political partner, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., had his back. As Ehrlich spoke to a crowded bar, filled with his campaign loyalists, he advised everyone to work hard for Steele's Senate bid.

"Michael Steele, he's going to be our next United States senator," Ehrlich said. "Wait 'till Hillary meets him!"

By  |  August 18, 2006; 9:03 AM ET
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