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The Sun shares blame for black candidates' losses

Democratic candidate for governor of Maryland Ben Jealous gives a concession speech after losing to governor Larry Hagan. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)

Regarding your recent piece, “Why can't a black candidate win statewide office in so-called progressive Maryland?” (Dec. 24): The Sun needs to look in the mirror. Are you in denial about endorsing Ben Cardin over Kweisi Mfume and Chris Van Hollen over Donna Edwards in the most recent competitive Democratic primaries for Senate?

In neither case was any weight given to the historic significance of race. If elected, Donna Edwards, a black single mom who had spent time on welfare, would have become the first black female senator in U.S. history.

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While engaging in self-reflection, The Sun should also consider why, in a state where all 14 federal and statewide elected positions are filled by men, you editorially dismissed attractive female candidates Heather Mizeur and Krish Vignarajah in favor of flawed candidates Anthony Brown and Ben Jealous in the most recent Democratic primaries for governor.

One final point: the winner of a major party nomination in a properly conducted primary should emerge with a strong coalition of voter backing. However, in Maryland, with its deadly combination of a closed primary and zero runoff options, Ben Jealous was able to secure his nomination with the votes of just 6 percent of total registered voters, hardly a strong "buy-in.” That's why The Sun got it right endorsing both an open primary and instant runoff (ranked choice) voting.

Mel Marcus, Columbia

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