Sarbanes bids farewell

Longtime senator in town for Democrats' gathering

Longtime senator in town for Democrats' gathering

May 14, 2006|by ANDREW SCHOTZ


Amid warm wishes from party faithful, U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., bid a farewell to Washington County on Saturday.

Sarbanes is not running for re-election after 30 years in the Senate, the longest tenure in Maryland's history.

Sarbanes, 73, was the featured guest at Saturday's annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner held by Washington County's Democratic Central Committee at the Four Points Sheraton on Dual Highway.

Several people, including candidates for state offices, spoke highly of Sarbanes. A few referred to him as a political hero.

Sarbanes said he appreciated the compliments, and jokingly wished his wife was with him to keep his ego in check on the ride home.

Sarbanes used part of his keynote speech to attack the Bush administration as unceasingly ideological and unresponsive.

"This is a radical administration that is trying to transform our society and is moving in directions that no one would have predicted," he said.


Democratic candidates used the forum to stump for their campaigns. That included several minutes apiece from the campaigns of three men trying to replace Sarbanes in the Senate.

Representatives from Senate candidates Josh Rales and Kweisi Mfume spoke. Candidate Alan Lichtman also spoke.

On the Republican side, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is one of a group of candidates also seeking the Senate seat.

State Democratic Chairman Terry Lierman encouraged party members at Saturday's dinner to work hard to elect the candidates they believe in.

Then, after the Sept. 12 primary, "we need unity," Lierman urged.

The Maryland Senate seat is a pivotal one in the November general election, Lierman said.

"Mathematically, we won't take back the U.S. Senate if we don't keep this seat Democratic," he said.

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