Senate Presidentís Fate
Mike Miller lost and won this week. Protégé Rob Garagiola was skinned by John Delaney; the Maryland Senate majority leader was handed his head by about twice the Democratic voters as he attracted. The Senate president did all he could.
The Sixth Congressional District was relegated to the butt of Western Maryland. Blame the 2010 U.S. Census, the same official count that turned our neighbor Virginia into a GOP bastion, throwing Democrats – regardless – under its mighty machine’s wheels. The reaction to the near-Depression in the economy takes the credit.
That revulsion to the incumbents contributed to the weak showing by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. As the 20-year Frederick congressman, he should have chewed up all opponents; he didn’t. He received less than 50 percent of the ballots. David Brinkley returns to the state Senate, having garnered nearly 100 percent more than Del. Kathy Afzali, the noisy candidate forced to settle for third place.
Beverly Byron, the last Frederick U.S. Representative, looks like she will certainly be revenged in November; anyway she was less than liberal, akin to political machine “boss” James R. McClellan, also registered as a Democrat, closely aligned to Republican “wish lists.” In contrast, John Delaney stacks up as “progressive.”
Mike Miller “won” by converting a “safe” GOP congressional seat into a district where Democrats have the majority of registered voters. Not again – in my lifetime at least – will the Sixth District send a Republican to Capitol Hill. And that’s bad news for the gubernatorial hopes of Board of County Commissioners’ President Blaine Young, who announced before Tuesday his ambition to go to the State House in Annapolis.
Meanwhile, his father, State Sen. Ron Young (Frederick), may more comfortably settle into the office that he seized from Alex Mooney. The Maryland GOP chairman for a long time hoped to succeed Roscoe Bartlett, his employer when Mr. Mooney was a fresh-faced graduate from Dartmouth. Senator Miller drew the district lines that smashed many Republican hopes in this part of the state.
As it turned out on Tuesday, Rob Garagiola slinks back to the state Senate majority leader’s office, not because winner John Delaney had more financial resources and high-placed endorsements. Americans don’t take kindly to political dictators; they heartily resent any official who tries to tell them what men or women are best for them. That’s our proud heritage.
As for 2014, it’s up to Mr. Delaney. He may want to move into the district from his Potomac manse, swapping his Metro mentality for ours, to avoid the wrath of his constituents. His words and actions will be judged by all in the district: Republicans, Independents and his fellow Democrats. His first winning does not guarantee tenure.
Congressional elections occur frequently, and meanwhile Mike Miller is not the sort to abide being punched in the nose. Pending Congressman Delaney must anticipate Rob Garagiola to return, looking for vengeance.
That, too, falls safely in the American political tradition.