Democratic Leaders: Md. Remains Relevant
Maryland Democrats yesterday sought to downplay reports that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) might cede the state to Sen. Barack Obama (D).
"We hope both campaigns are active in the next week," said Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who appeared alongside House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) and Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Michael Cryor, at a news conference called by the party to tout the state's relevance in the primary process.
According to exit polls, 58 percent of Maryland's voters in the 2004 primary were women and 22 percent of voters were 65 or older, demographic groups that have supported Clinton strongly elsewhere. About 35 percent of Maryland's voters that year were African-American, and 8 percent were in the 18-29 age range, key Obama voting blocs.
Miller recalled that Bill Clinton had peformed very well as a candidate in Maryland, and Cryor noted that the state has 99 delegates at stake. They spoke from a podium bearing a placard pronouncing "Maryland Matters."
"Maryland is indeed critical and central to this next phase of the primary season," Cryor said. "After many, many years of being relatively inconsequential ..... Maryland is poised to be a real player."
Clinton was in Virginia this afternoon but sent news releases throughout the day about endorsements she's received from a diverse set of Maryland pols: Among them Montgomery Del. Susan Lee, the first Asian woman elected to the General Assembly; Montgomery Del. Ana Sol Guiterrez, the first Latina to serve in the legislature; and two prominent Prince George's County leaders--County Executive Jack B. Johnson and his predecessor Wayne Curry.
-- John Wagner
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