Maryland's junior senator, Barbara A. Mikulski, has quickly established her bona fides in the U.S. Senate. Since winning election six years ago, she has won a key subcommittee chairmanship on the important Appropriations Committee and has been a tireless worker for Maryland's interests.
Though we are concerned by her refusal to face up to the looming deficit, her protectionism and her eagerness to demagogue on some issues, Ms. Mikulski impresses us with her legislative skills.
Her Republican opponent, Alan L. Keyes, is an eloquent exponent of conservative ideology but he's proved more adept as an academic theorist than a campaigner. Ms. Mikulski's solid record in Congress and her influence on the Appropriations Committee lead us to endorse her re-election.
In the heated 1st District contest, our preference is Republican Rep. Wayne Gilchrest. In his first term, he has come across as a decent man with common sense and the courage to vote his conscience. That is a rare combination. Democratic Rep. Tom McMillen shares many of Mr. Gilchrest's positions on issues but doesn't seem as connected to voters of this sprawling district.
The clear choice in the 6th District is Del. Thomas Hattery. He has exhibited a good grasp of the issues, has represented Frederick County admirably in the legislature and has experience as a farmer and small businessman. Republican Roscoe Bartlett has run a highly negative campaign. He's harshly ideological and appears unprepared for elective office.
Second District voters are poised to reelect Helen D. Bentley to a fifth term, and for good reason. She is a tenacious battler for the district, the state and the Port of Baltimore. We are alarmed, though, by her myopic focus on assisting the Serbian cause in Yugoslavia's bloody civil war. Her actions have not helped end the "ethnic cleansing." On other issues, though, Mrs. Bentley has earned re-election.
The Sun also endorses 5th District Democrat Steny Hoyer, the state's most powerful voice in the House; 3rd District Democrat Ben Cardin, who holds an important post on the Ways and Means Committee's health-care panel; 7th District Democrat Kweisi Mfume, running for a fourth term, and 8th District incumbent Connie Morella, whose brand of moderate Republicanism is worthy of emulation. In the new minority district, the 4th, we endorse Democrat Albert Wynn, whose proven record in Annapolis makes him a better choice than first-timer Michele Dyson.