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Maryland Politics
Posted at 03:38 PM ET, 04/04/2012

Worst political endorsement since ...?

It’s no secret that in Maryland’s redrawn 6th congressional district the state’s Democratic Party establishment preferred Sen. Robert J. Garagiola to the victor in Tuesday’s primary: little-known businessman John K. Delaney.

But even as party officials sought to present a unified front with
Democratic nominee for Maryland U.S. House District 6, John Delaney greets supporters as he celebrates his victory Tuesday over Senate Majority Leader Robert Garagiola. (Matt McClain - FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
Delaney on Wednesday, it was clear a deep rift still exists with Garagiola’s many political patrons atop the state party.

Maryland’s powerful Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) offered perhaps the worst endorsement in recent memory. Miller said he would back Delaney: “Absolutely, I don’t know the gentleman, but if he can raise $800,000 for Hillary Clinton, he’s alright with me,” Miller said, referring to Delaney’s political fundraising prowess as a Montgomery County financier.

But that was as far as he went. In fact, Miller then called on his party’s nominee to release his tax returns to make sure Delaney wasn’t paying “less than Mitt Romney.” And Miller said Delaney’s victory said more about the candidate’s unlimited money and negative ads, than about the candidate himself.

“It was a tough race. The people spoke … but what spoke unfortunately the most . .. was the unlimited dollars, the guy raised twice as much money as Rob did. And then put in $1.5 million of of his own money and he was able to …. define Rob in a negative way,” Miller said.

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller addresses the Senate in Annapolis, Md. (Patrick Semansky - AP)
“We know Rob, he’s a patriot, he’s a good citizen, he’s a good legislator, one of the premier environmentalists here in the senate, and yet through the media and direct mail and television, he was able to be portrayed as a tool of the lobbyist. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

And about those tax returns?

“Rob Garagiola showed his. We knew what he was all about … I would like to see [Delaney], now that the election is over, show his income tax, that’d be nice,” Miller said. “It’d be nice to see if he pays less than 15 percent, and if Mitt Romney pays a little more. … the public demands that. Republicans and Democrats should demand that as well.

But this is an endorsement, right?

“The fact is it’s over, people spoke and I’m going to support Mr. Delaney and I hope he’s victorious.”

By  |  03:38 PM ET, 04/04/2012

Tags:  Thomas V. Mike Miller, Robert Garagiola, Maryland politics

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