Most politicians who have run for lieutenant governor in Maryland have promoted themselves as capable backup men with the experience to assist the governor in affairs of state and the know-how to take control of the government if anything should happen to the chief executive.
Samuel W. Bogley III, Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in the Nov. 7 election, wants there to be no mistake. Ne does not have any experience in state government, he says, and is quite frankly worried about the prospects of being a heartbeat away.
Bogley, 36, a two-term Prince George's County councilman, has expressed his self-doubts publicly in recent days, telling audiences at least partly in jest that he is trying to make sure the Democratic nominee for governor, Harry R. Hughes, remains in good health.
"I kid Harry to take the stairs, not the elevator," he explained, recalling his remarks to the Governor's Youth Council in Annapolis on Saturday. "It's good for the heart to get a little exercise. I tell him not to smoke so many cigarettes. I want him to live a long life."
"I think people ought to know that my experience is at the local level," continued the Bowie resident. "I don't want to hide anything and make people think I'm omnipotent or all-knowing as far as state government is concerned. I don't want to deceive the electorate."
It's not that Bogley is a novice. As at-large councilman for eight years, he fielded a wide range of issues. His Prince George's service, he said, makes him a perfect candidate for "second banana," an official who could assist the governor with local government problems.
But taking over the State House is another matter."Maybe six months, maybe a year, maybe two years from now," he said, "I'd be ready to step in on a moments notice. I can't say that now . . . they say God never puts a burden on you that you can't carry."