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Rep. Donna F. Edwards announced her run for Senate via video, jumping into a crowded race to replace retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski. The Democrat was first elected to the House in 2008.

In theory I agree with Frank Fletcher that a lot of what is wrong with our government is tied to the lack of term limits ("Mikulski's longevity in office is no accomplishment," March 8).

However, in reality Babs is the best thing that could have happened to Maryland. Thanks to her, Maryland has received a lion's share of the largesse coming out of Washington.

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Maryland is loaded with well-paying federal jobs. While military installations all over the country have been closed or relocated, those in Maryland have remained open to absorb the ones that closed.

The port of Baltimore continues to thrive thanks to our senators who get re-elected and move up to the committee leadership positions that control the purse strings. Unlike other states that have used Washington's largesse to build monuments to their own egos and bridges to nowhere, all the funds spent in Maryland have been for projects that actually benefit of the state.

As a retired public servant I have shared my opinions over the years with Senator Mikulski, and she has been nothing but responsive. I think I could best explain her in this example:

Jobs were being threatened at the Social Security headquarters, and our union arranged a demonstration to show our displeasure. Many of the local elected officials showed up and spoke to the group. Babs got up and spoke directly to the issue, point for point, of what she could do to help us.

Kweisi Mfume also spoke, but he said nothing about the problem we were facing. It was merely his standard stump speech.

What is I am saying is that some pols just phone it in, but that was never the case with Ms. Mikulski. She led the way for women into the world's most exclusive boys club, and her contribution there was substantial. I wish her nothing but the best in her retirement.

Steven Davidson, New Windsor

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