Remembering the 7th District’s Samuel Friedel | READER COMMENTARY

Former Rep. Sam Friedel who lost to Parren Mitchell in the 1970 7th District Congressional race.
Former Rep. Sam Friedel who lost to Parren Mitchell in the 1970 7th District Congressional race.(George H. Cook / Baltimore Sun Files/Check with Baltimore Sun Photo)

I am now 70 years old and I grew up in Baltimore’s 7th Congressional District. My husband and I moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 2011. We subscribe to the digital edition of The Baltimore Sun, and one of my greatest pleasures every day is reading that. I especially relish the “Way Back When” columns and memories. Thank you for the article on the 7th Congressional District 1970 Democratic Primary (“Remembering 1970, when the 7th District Congressional seat was decided by only 38 votes,” Jan. 30).

In the fall of 1970, I was starting my senior year of college down the road at American University in Washington, D.C. I vividly remember Samuel Friedel losing to Parren Mitchell.


You see, my dad, an attorney on Capitol Hill appointed by Rep. Sam Friedel, and he were the best of friends. I remember often visiting Congressman Friedel, and his elegant and charming wife Regina, with my parents at their beautifully appointed Mount Washington home. I remember them frequently coming to our home in the nearby Cheswolde neighborhood.

Representative Friedel, Sam to my parents, was a kind, caring and yet politically savvy man. I see him in my mind’s eyes. I hear his firm yet gentle voice. He treated me like he would a niece. He and Mrs. Friedel brought us back gifts from their travels. I particularly remember a beautiful Japanese kimono they brought me after one of their trips.

I was active in College Young Democrats and in Maryland Young Democrats. Mr. Friedel helped me navigate politics when I was a young adult. He was that way. Of course, my parents and I were devastated when he lost that 1970 primary by a hair to Parren Mitchell. Though devastated, too, Congressman Friedel handled the defeat with his usual grace and charm.

May Samuel Friedel’s name be for a blessing.

Patricia “Patsy” Gould Parker, Phoenix, Ariz.

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.