A Fellowship of Millers On the Campaign Trail

By Philip Rucker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 10, 2006

There was a collision of Millers on the campaign trail last weekend as state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) greeted Ron Miller , the Republican who is trying to unseat him in November.

Ron Miller, a former Bush administration official, gave his pitch to prospective voters Saturday at the African American Heritage Day festival at National Colonial Farm in Accokeek. As he was explaining why voters in the Senate district -- which includes Calvert and Prince George's counties -- should vote for him instead of Mike Miller, the incumbent came up behind him.

The two shook hands, and Mike Miller introduced his opponent to two Prince George's delegates who were visiting the festival with him.

"If you've done this a long time, you're used to it. But I must admit, since I'm a newcomer, it's a bit strange," Ron Miller said of his run-in with Mike Miller, Maryland's longtime Senate president. "But I just smile, and I'm polite."

Of the casual fraternity that sometimes develops between political enemies, he said: "It's kind of a throwback to the old days when people slugged it out on the floor of Congress and go across the street . . . together."

There's a reason Mike Miller felt so at home on the Accokeek farm. The veteran lawmaker's family once owned the former tobacco farm at the end of Bryan Point Road, located alongside the Potomac River across from Mount Vernon. Miller sits on the board of directors of the Accokeek Foundation, which runs the farm.

Park Reopens, Again

No doubt about it, Calvert Cliffs State Park is now open.

The recently renovated park in Lusby has been officially reopened more than once this summer, the latest ceremony coming last week when Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) came to Southern Maryland.

To coincide with Ehrlich's four-stop visit to St. Mary's and Calvert counties, state Department of Natural Resources Secretary Ron Franks and state parks Superintendent Rick Barton joined Ehrlich to cut a ribbon at the park near the Chesapeake Bay.

One detail was left out of a news release promoting Ehrlich's ceremony last Thursday: The park had been open for nearly three weeks. On July 15, the Department of Natural Resources had declared the park reopened after a five-month, $800,000 renovation to repave parking areas and improve storm water management.

Air Quality Improvements

Coming off of a scorching hot weather spell, the Maryland Department of the Environment sought last week to find a silver lining in the cloud of thick, humid air that hovered over the region before the heat wave broke last Thursday night.

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