Prince George's County Council member Samuel W. Bogley announced last week that if he decides to seek reelection he will not run on the "Democrats '78" ticket, led by County Executive Winfield M. Kelly.
Bogley, in a letter to the "Democrats '78" selection committee currently holding hearings on prospective candidates for the slate, said he would not appear "before or seek the endorsement of your committee. Should I later decide to file for reelection, I will not campaign with another candidate or group."
Bogley, who has been called the "odd man out" because of his independant stance on many council issues, said he had personal reasons for not seeking the slate's support.
Later he added, "I had to decide to stay out of it," because "I could not guarantee that I could get through the election process without a bloodbath." He said he feared that Kelly "or someone else" would try to displace him.
Bogley's decision opened up room on the "Democrats '78" ticket for another at-large council candidate, a position much sought after by at least two of Kelly's proteges - John Lally, Kelly's press aide, and Deborah Marshall, executive director of the Commission on Women and a former community affairs worker on Kelly's staff.
Bogley, who has been an at-large council member for the past eight years, said he had been under "tremendious pressure by people, not only by John (Lally) but by elected officials from municipalities and agencies" not to run on "Democrats '78" ticket.
Bogley has particularly attracted the ire of State Sen. Edward Conroy, a fellow Bowie resident and alleged "kingmaker" in his district. In 1970, Bogley ran for the council on a ticket organized by Conroy, but when Conroy was seeking support for the congressional primary race against State Sen. Meyer Emanuel in 1972, Bogley said he "would not support either one."
This year, with Conroy pitted against Del. Leo Green in the state Senate race, Bogley again remained neutral.
"Conroy thought that just because I was from Bowie, I should always vote with Bowie," Bogley said. "I was elected to represent the whole county and I had to look at it that way. I did not favor the Bowie New Town nor the hospital, two issues he supported. I have worn out my welcome as far as Ed is concerned.
Conroy, however, said he would not opposed Bogley before the selection committee. "I like Sam personally and I think he is a man of integrity. Six years ago I was annoyed with him when every other elected official except him supported me after the congressional primary but not so this year (in his race against Green).
"I wished sometime he would have been more involved with the problems of my district and I have a continuing concern with that.
"Same has something of a reputation of being a maverick and that's unfortunate, but, no I would not oppose him."
Bogley, through what he calls "his independent voice and another point of view" on the council, also has riled Kelly on a few occasions. Council sources said in 1974 that Kelly supported Bogley for a council seat in the face of strong Conroy opposition. This year, the source said, Kelly would not do so.
"Kelly was a major benefactor in my election," Bogley said in response. "But I've been a cause for consternation recently, and probably more difficulty than he liked."
Bogley openly discussed the possibility of resigning from office last December, but, "when I looked like John Lally was going to get (his seat), I changed my mind. I wanted a woman, perhaps a black woman to take my place, to give the council more balance. But when it seemed to be going directly to anyone so closely aligned to the other branch of government, it looked like the seat would not longer be a voice separate and apart from the administration."
Bogleys said the death late last year of his law partner, Ted Miazga, forced him to consider his career as a lawyer as well as a politican.
"Ted was able to take care of the office for me then," Bogley said. "Now, with the county job getting closer to four days a week, it is more difficult to keep up my professional work.
"I don't want to be solely dependent on elected office to feed my family. So I could not assure Kelly that I could stay in the council seat for four years."
Bogley said he may still file for the primary as an independent Democrat. "I would be giving people who know me and support me an opportunity to vote for me."
Bogley recently bought a large yellow van to use as a campaign vehicle and said he will "probably set up in shopping centers to stay visible enough.
"I'm prepared to go it alone if I decide to. After all, with my name first, I'm in a good position on the ballot."