The Terrapin Times

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Steele Announces Bid for U.S. Senate

by Matt Kinnear
The Terrapin Times Staff Writer

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele today officially announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate at a speech to supporters at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md.

Steele pledged to be a “bridge-builder” between Republicans and Democrats. “The need for a new bridge is real,” he said. “I am going to the U.S. Senate to be that bridge.”

Supporters waved signs that said “Bridge of Steele Tour.”

Republican leaders have been urging Steele, who is the first black man to ever be elected to a statewide office in Maryland, to run for Senate because of his appeal to members of both parties.

Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly two to one in Maryland. Steele ran alongside Gov. Robert Ehrlich when he became Maryland’s first Republican governor since Spiro Agnew won in 1967. The last Republican elected to one of Maryland’s two seats in the U.S. Senate was Charles Mathias, in 1980.

Steele described himself as “an independent minded” candidate who is prepared for change. He also spoke of a new Civil Rights movement—not of blacks getting a seat at the counter, but of blacks owning the whole diner—as he invoked the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.

“Too many in Washington today are not working toward that common goal of growth and freedom and an equal opportunity for every individual. Instead, too many on the left have their feet set in the concrete of old fears, old divisions and old ways of government," he said.

Steele is running for the Republican nomination for the seat that will be vacated by Democratic Sen. Paul Sarbanes, who was first elected in 1976.

Steele has raised nearly $400,000 for the election. White House strategist Karl Rove was a guest at an event in July that raised $75,000.

He is running against a crowded field of Democrats. U.S. Rep. Ben Cardin is currently leading the race, with former member of Congress and NAACP leader Kweisi Mfume slightly behind. Other candidates include Lise Van Susteren, Professor Allan J. Lichtman, Joshua Rales and A. Robert Kaufman. Kevin Zeese is running as a third-party candidate.

Stay tuned to for complete coverage of this story and the U.S. Senate campaign.


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