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May 18, 2005

Maryland Democratic Party holds 2006 campaign kickoff

by Alex Mazerov, Page Editor
The Maryland Democratic Party held a rally at the Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda to kick off the 2006 election campaign season on Tuesday, May 17. Several hundred supporters, including several members of Blair's Young Democrats, attended the event.

The featured speaker was Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, who urged the party to remain unified despite what is expected to be a bitter primary campaign for the Maryland Democratic gubernatorial and senatorial nominations. "I expect you to make sure this is not a scorched earth race," the former Vermont governor said. "We need to be on the same page the day after the primary, no matter who wins."
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean speaks at a rally in Bethesda. Looking on, from left, are County Executive Doug Duncan (D), Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD), DNC Vice-Chair Susan Turnbull, Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD), state Del. Susan Lee (D), MD Senate President Mike Miller (D-Calvert), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), former NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume, Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Terry Lierman and state Sen. Ida Ruben (D). Alex Mazerov
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean speaks at a rally in Bethesda. Looking on, from left, are County Executive Doug Duncan (D), Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-MD), DNC Vice-Chair Susan Turnbull, Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD), state Del. Susan Lee (D), MD Senate President Mike Miller (D-Calvert), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), former NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume, Maryland Democratic Party Chairman Terry Lierman and state Sen. Ida Ruben (D).

The rally also featured appearances by top Maryland Democratic leaders, including Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan; Reps. Benjamin Cardin, Albert Wynn and Chris Van Hollen; Minority Whip Steny Hoyer; Sen. Paul Sarbanes; former NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume; Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and MD Senate President Mike Miller.

All of the rally speakers emphasized the Democratic Party's goal of ousting Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) from office in the coming election and holding on to the U.S. Senate seat that Sarbanes will step down from in 2006. "We need a Democratic sweep [in November, 2006]," Miller said.

Mfume, a candidate for the Senate seat, said, "[We must] lock arms from this place as we go forward." He also stressed the need for the Democratic Party to stand up for its core beliefs. "We as Democrats have to hold high the virtues and values we believe in," he said.

Cardin, Mfume's probable opponent in the senatorial campaign, told supporters that the Democrats must emerge from the September, 2006 primary election poised and ready win the general election in November. "We're going to make sure we elect a Democrat to the U.S. Senate," Cardin said.
Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan speaks at the Democratic rally. Alex Mazerov
Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan speaks at the Democratic rally.

Duncan, a likely contender in the governor's race, praised Dean's leadership abilities and said, "Governor Dean. I've got to admit I like that title," referring to his own gubernatorial ambitions. Duncan electrified the crowd when he proclaimed, "Montgomery County [is] one of the absolutely bluest jurisdictions in the United States of America." Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, another gubernatorial candidate, did not attend the rally.

In his speech, Dean spoke of his plans for curing the Democrats' recent image woes. He asserted that most Americans side with Democrats on far more issues than they do with Republicans. "On issue after issue after issue, we win," he said. "But we're not talking to people. We need to talk differently. We do not need to change our positions."

Dean also stated that Democrats should seek to find common ground with opponents on controversial issues, such as abortion. "We need to respect those who disagree with us," he stated. "I don't know anyone who is pro-abortion. I think we ought to combine with the other party to reduce the number of abortions," Dean added.

The Democratic leaders also repeatedly criticized recent actions taken by Republicans in Congress, such as attempts to end the filibuster. "We've seen an arrogance of power on Capitol Hill that is leading to an abuse of power," said Van Hollen.

Six members of Blair's Young Democrats attended the rally to show their support. Sophomore Adam Yalowitz, president of the club, was pleased with Dean's speech. "Dean brings an enthusiastic message to America," he said. Another member of the Young Democrats who attended the event, sophomore Lea Savard-McNicol, said "I thought it was awesome. It was really energetic."



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  • RAY SWINEHART (View Email) on June 12, 2005 at 8:21 PM
    I HOPE THE DEMOCRATS CAN SETTLE ON ONE CANDIDATE SOON. MARYLAND HAS SUCH A GREAT TRADITION OF GREAT SENATORS(DEMOCRATS) IT WOULD BE A SHAME IF THE DEMOCRATS DESTROYED EACH OTHER AND FORGOT THE REAL TASKS IS TO KEEP SEN. SARBANES SEAT IN DEMOCRATIC HANDS. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE REAL TASK AND THAT IS TO ELECT A DEMOCRAT TO THAT SEAT.
  • Marilyn Lane (View Email) on February 6, 2006 at 8:49 PM
    I have been contributing $5.00 per month to a senator campaign which shows on my bank statement as: Dem Sen Cmpgn Comm - S. Bethesda, MD 06021.

    I no longer wish to contribute this amount. Please remove my name & contribution from the list.

    thanks

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