Md. voters choose Mikulski for Senate

November 03, 2004|by TAMELA BAKER

Barbara Mikulski easily held off a challenge by state Sen. E.J. Pipkin to win a fourth term in the U.S. Senate.

With 91 percent of Maryland's precincts reporting, Mikulski led with 64 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Pipkin.

Her Republican challenger had hoped to repeat his upset defeat of an established Democrat. Pipkin, who resides in Queen Anne's County, snatched his Eastern Shore Senate seat from longtime Sen. Walter Baker in 2002.

Even as he conceded Tuesday night, he promised well-wishers in Annapolis that he would run another day.

"I promise you'll see me on the campaign trail again," Pipkin told supporters gathered at the state GOP election-night party.

Pipkin, 49, had established himself politically as a champion of the environment when in the late 1990s he led a successful effort to stop dredge spoil dumping near the Chesapeake Bay. He ran an aggressive campaign against Mikulski, 68, attacking her record on everything from defense to the environment.


Although he lost statewide, Pipkin drew more votes than Mikulski in Washington County. With all county precincts reporting, he had an unofficial 27,448 votes, or 52 percent, to Mikulski's 24,586 votes, or 46.6 percent.

First elected in 1986 to fill the seat being vacated by Sen. Charles McC. Mathias, a Republican, Mikulski is now the third-highest ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership and the dean of the Senate women.

Mikulski serves on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

A U.S. Senate term is six years. The current salary is $158,100.

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