Call him the Cal Ripken Jr. of the Maryland congressional delegation.

Representative Tom McMillen, D-4th, has set a state record for casting 2,050 consecutive votes between January 1987 and July 1991. That breaks the previous record held by former 2nd District Representative James P. S. Devereux, who voted 233 consecutive times between 1952 and 1954.

McMillen, who was elected in 1986, missed his first vote on July 23 when an adjournment vote was unexpectedly called at 8:15 p.m. by Representative Robert Walker, R-Pa. McMillen had a lot of company missing that call; 58 percent of the House was absent for the vote.

Ina news release announcing the consecutive vote record, McMillen is quoted as saying, "It was obviously difficult to try to keep a perfectvoting record" while minding his work in the district, which includes all of Anne Arundel and parts of Prince George's and Howard counties.

But just as Ripken -- with 1,549 consecutive games as of Tuesday night -- has a long way to go to top Lou Gehrig's all-time record of 2,130 games, McMillen was far from the overall House consecutive vote record. The Iron Horse of the Hill is Representative William H. Natcher, D-Ky., who has not missed a vote in 38 years, according to therelease from McMillen's office.

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