By Kate Alexander
Maryland will be well represented at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, with both the president of the state Senate and the lieutenant governor set for speaking roles next week.
As chairman of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., D-Prince George’s, will speak for three minutes Monday about the party’s efforts to elect Democrats to state legislatures, said Vicki Fretwell, Miller’s public information officer.
That evening’s presentation, headlined “Prosperity and Progress,” will showcase President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend will speak Tuesday, joining her uncle Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., cousin Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg and former presidential candidate Bill Bradley, among others, for an evening billed “New Heights: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” The presentation will feature how the party plans to help working families.
“Maryland will have a strong showing in L.A.,” said Ann Beegle, communications director for the Maryland Democratic Party. “It is a testament to our leadership . . . and that Maryland is at the forefront of issues important to the Gore-Lieberman campaign.”
But Paul Ellington, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, said the speaking roles for the state’s Democratic leaders suggested the Gore campaign was concerned that Maryland, a traditionally Democratic state, was “still in play for Bush.”
The Democratic Party controls the governor’s office and both bodies of the General Assembly in Maryland. In recent presidential politics, it’s been a fairly reliable Democratic vote, according to the online version of the Almanac of American Politics. The state went for Democrat Jimmy Carter in 1980, passed on Walter Mondale in 1984 and Michael Dukakis in 1988, and was one of Bill Clinton’s best states in both 1992 and 1996.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening will also be on hand as chairman of the National Governors Association and vice-chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, though he will not address the convention.
Glendening was at the Republican convention, too, providing the Democratic Party spin. –30- CNS-08-11-00