Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Maryland Senate Seat Opening: Kweisi Mfume for Senate

Senator Sarbanes is retiring and there is a crazy scramble among Democrats to run for his seat. Kweisi Mfume has thrown his hat in the ring, of course there are many others to follow, such as Chris Van Hollen, Dutch Ruppersberger, Elijah Cummings, Glen Ivey, and few others.

I think we've gone long enough without having a representative number of Black senators in the U.S. Senate, for that reason, Kweisi Mfume it is for me. I think he'd do quite well. He has a very good public image, he is incredibly articulate, was a congressman, and then turned the NAACP's fortunes around in the private sector, he is not seen as a rabid partisan even though he is unquestionably liberal.

I think the race is his to lose. He'll certainly get Baltimore City/County, He'll scoop up the majority Black Prince George's county which is to the east of Washington DC. Montgomery County is tricky. Montgomery County is to the north of DC and is a very progressive and wealthy county, more white and currently run by Doug Duncan, the next governor of Maryland. Chris Van Hollen and other primary challengers will suck the oxygen out of Montgomery county for Mfume. Eastern and Western MD are as conservative as Alabama, so goes the talk on the street. Southern Maryland is where Mfume would have to get over the top. Southern MD is three counties, Charles, St Mary's and Calvert. Charles, the most populous, went slightly for Kerry and is 38% Black, so if Mfume can do well down here, he'll be fine. He'd have Baltimore, Prince George's Co, and Southern Maryland.

As for his NAACP tenure, Mfume was interested in striking bipartisan bonds. In fact a supposed rift broke out between he and Julian Bond who felt that there was nothing that the Bush administration had to offer and he was very harsh on the Bush folks. Mfume is the type who probably felt the same way but that still one must nonetheless maintain dialog and keep options open. I think he is well suited for the more collegial senate. So Mfume it is. That'll make two Black senators who will represent us well and not embarass us by hanging out with dictators and stuff.

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