Supporters Rally to Barkley's Defense
Friends of Del. Charles E. Barkley (D-Montgomery), a candidate to succeed Sen. P.J. Hogan in the 39th District in Montgomery County, rallied to his defense this week.
Jan Watson, a Democratic activist in Montgomery, said she represented a large group of Barkley's friends who strongly disagree with a characterization of Barkely in Sunday's Annapolis Notebook. In that item, Barkley acknowledged a perception among some in the General Assembly that he makes some female delegates uncomfortable, although the delegates would not speak publicly. He told the Post that the "innuendoes" were "a bunch of hooey."
Watson said the reporting and the characterization were unfair. "I've known Charlie Barkley for years, and many of us felt that this accusation was completely off-base," Watson said. "He's a good man."
Watson said Barkley has considerable support from women in the legislature.
Meanwhile, Del. Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery), who has pulled in and out of the race a few times, is formally back in this week, according to the Democratic Central Committee, which will submit a name to Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Aug. 14.
King had said last week that she preferred to stay in the House of Delegates, where she chairs a subcommittee, rather than be a freshman in the Senate. But Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) was pressing her hard to get in the race. After meeting with Miller this week, King was back in.
The other candidates competing to succeed Hogan are freshman Del. Saqib Ali and former delegate Gene W. Counihan.
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