Democratic attorney general candidate Jon S. Cardin apparently thought he had a winning argument Saturday when he boasted to the Western Maryland Democratic Summit in Hagerstown that he was the only candidate in the three-way primary race with a 97 percent pro-environment score over his 12-year legislative career from the League of Conservation Voters.
That claim is true. A check of the league's web site confirmed that the Baltimore County delegate had earned that score.
After hearing about the claim, one of Cardin's opponents in the June 24 primary, Sen. Brian E. Frosh of Montgomery County, conceded that Cardin is indeed the only candidate in the race with a 97 percent score. But Frosh pointed out that his lifetime score from the league is 99 percent over 28 years in the General Assembly.
The third candidate in the race, Del. Aisha Braveboy of Prince George's County, has a 75 percent rating. The three are running for the nomination to succeed Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who is running for governor.
The Maryland League of Conservation Voters has endorsed Frosh in the race, as has the Sierra Club's Maryland chapter.
All three candidates traveled to Hagerstown to make their pitches to the a group of about 200 Democratic activists. At the summit, Frosh got 116 votes in a straw poll, Cardin 35 and Braveboy 21.
Frosh may have had the best-received political one-liner of the day when he recounted the story of addressing a group in a farm field using a manure spreader as a podium.
"It was the first time in my life I had spoken from a Republican platform," he said.
Frosh later gave credit to William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic nominee for president more than a century ago, for that line.