Hughes, a lawyer with deep roots in Caroline County, was born and raised in Denton. He was a graduate of Mercersburg Academy and Mount St. Mary's College. During World War II, he served as a Navy pilot. He was a 1952 graduate of the George Washington University School of Law. The Democrat was elected to the House of Delegates in 1954, and four years later, to the State Senate. Hughes, who served three terms in the Senate, was majority leader and chaired the Finance Committee. In 1971, he was appointed secretary of the Department of Transportation, a position he held until 1977, when he stepped down over the awarding of contracts for the building of the Baltimore Metro. In 1978, he defeated Blair Lee for governor. His two terms were defined by environmental issues and in cleaning up of the Chesapeake Bay. Fiscal issues as well as opening trade with China were also important highlights of the Hughes years. He was also faced in dealing with the savings and loan crisis of 1985 that swept Maryland, which resulted in a plan that saw all insured depositors recover their lost funds. Hughes, who is 86, lives in Denton.
Jed Kirschbaum, Baltimore Sun