"I think it's important people understand who their senators are," he said.
Ann R. Beser, Mikulski's campaign manager, noted that Mikulski still voted more than 90 percent of the time.
The bulk of the votes she missed occurred last summer when she was a part of a Senate observer group that went to Spain to discuss NATO expansion.
Mikulski continued on to Poland with President Clinton to promote the alliance.
"It was a furtherance of her Senate duty," Beser said. "Indeed, the chance to go to Poland with the president was unusual. She chose to do it. She thought it was important for the country and for Maryland."
But Wayman, president of Systems Consulting Services Inc., rejected the explanation.
"There are 100 senators. They all have the same responsibilities she does. And she's the worst one," he said. "I'm not sure we gain all that much by these congressional boondoggles, anyway."
Wayman suggested Mikulski's voting absences were due in part to her prodigious fund-raising activities.
Beser disputed that, saying she is not aware of a vote Mikulski has ever missed due to fund-raising.
Beser said senators have responsibilities other than voting and must balance those obligations.
County Commissioner James R. Wade said last week that he hasn't decided whether he will run for re-election.
Wade recently sold his liquor store on Sharpsburg Pike and has been looking for another job.
Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers is the only incumbent who has filed for re-election. If Bowers is re-elected, he would be the first commissioner in history to serve six four-year terms.
The filing deadline is July 6.
Tuckwell on campaign trail
County Commissioner candidate Sue Tuckwell held a fund-raiser at the Venice Inn March 12. About 250 people showed up at the $25-per-person event, she said.
Tuckwell said she's attending town meetings and is planning to mount a direct mail and a door-to-door campaign later in the year.
She plans another fund-raiser for her 47th birthday on July 24, she said.
Tuckwell, a Democrat, and Fountainhead resident, is a former president of the Maryland Theatre and former director of customer relations for Potomac Edison.
Trujillo holds town meeting
County Commissioner candidate Albino Jaime Trujillo held a town meeting Friday night at American Legion Post 42 in Hagerstown to discuss the future of the county.
Trujillo said he plans to hold additional meetings in future months to talk with county residents.
Trujillo, a correctional officer at Roxbury Correctional Institution, has lived in Keedysville since 1991. He's running as a Republican.
- Compiled by staff writers Steven T. Dennis
and Brendan Kirby