Marvin Mandel

Candidates for Maryland governor are picking running mates. Should voters care?

Candidates for Maryland governor are picking running mates. Should voters care?

One by one, the Democrats running for Maryland governor rolled out their lieutenant governor picks this month, each heralding their choices as offering crucial balance to their tickets — a woman running with a man, black with white, young with old, straight with gay, Washington suburban leaders with Baltimore’s best.

But do running mates really matter? The position of lieutenant governor, after all, has no formal powers except to succeed a governor who dies or leaves office.

“There’s no political science research showing that anyone bases their vote on a lieutenant governor pick,” said Melissa Deckman, chair of the political science department at Washington...

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