For 22 years Sen J. Glenn Beall Sr. represented Maryland in Congress and when he died in 1971 he left behind a political family of national prominence and a namesake who not only occupied his father's old Senate seat, but also carried on many of his father's old battles.
J. Glenn Beall Jr. now the Republican nominee for governor, often says that the greatest political influence on his life was his father. In his eight year congressional record the foot-prints of his father's philosophies and ideas are everywhere.
But unlike his father, Beall, 51, never acquired a statesman's status during his six years in the U.S. Senate, two years in the House of Representatives and six years in the state legislature. Instead, he concentrated on constituent services and never gained prominence in national affairs.
Neverthelss, for the Republican Party of Maryland, Beall has been a figure of substance and permanence. "Certainly, there's not been a better representative of our party over these years than Glenn Beall," said Del Edward P. Thomas Jr. (R. Frederick).
"Over the years he has stood for all those things the voters want in 1978; the end of big government, lower taxes and economic development," Thomas continued. "People know Glenn Beall."
Beall did get several significant bills through the Senate, - no easy feat for a junior Republican - and many of them were continuations of his father's ideas. He was able to create a national park on the land bordering the C & O Canal, a project begun by his father.
More significantly, Beall's concern with cutting government costs and taxes - themes that mark not only his record but his pledges during this campaign - are strong echoes of his father's record. When the elder Beall ran for Senate in 1952 he liked nothing better than to tell his audiences that he was called "one of the most economy-minded" members of the House of Representatives by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In foreign policy matters, the father and son shared much the same philosophy, advocating strong military preparedness for the United States and an assertive anti-Communist stance. For the elder Beall, that was translated into vocal support for Sen. Joseph McCarthy's attempts to root out alleged Communists in government. For the younger Beall, who never involved himself in red-baiting, it meant consistent approval of the Vietnam War policy of former President Richard M. Nixon.
There were notable differences, though, in the priorities of the two senators and in the swath they cut back home.
When J. Glenn Beall Jr. defeated Joseph D. Tydings in the 1970 Senate race he vowed he would not make the mistake Tydings did of becoming more of a Georgetown senator than one from the mountains of Western Maryland.
His constituency service record was enviable; support of U.S. funding for metro, retention of federal impact aid for schools, help for the C&O Canal park and preservation of the Public Health Service Hospitals. "I feel proud, very proud about my regular communications with the people in the state." Bell said recently of his record. "I thought they needed some service and Tyinds had been so aloof."
Beall sat on the Senate's Labor and Public Welfare Committee and on the Commerce Committee but he made headlines generally through his work for local Maryland issues.
He did win applause for his "Historic Structure Tax Provision" to the 1976 Tax Reform Act, which made it more rewarding from a tax stand-point to restore rather than tear down old buildings. He also played a key role in shepherding the 1976 Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act ammendments through the Senate.
Unlike his father who was proclaimed "one of the most reactionary members" of Congress by the Americans for Democratic Action, Beall received almost identical ratings from that liberal group and the conservative Americans for Constitutional Action.
The liberal group put Beall as 44 percent in favor of their positions in 1975. The conservative group figured he voted its way 43 percent of the time that same year.
Earlier in his Senate career the liberals gave him a 20 percent rating, but that was in 1972 when Beall was still voting almost straight down the line for Nixon administration bills. Besides backing Nixon on the Indochina war, Beall voted for the defeated Super sonic transport jet, for the Trident submarine and against ending the draft.
While his Maryland Republican colleague, Sen. Charles Mc. Mathias, was outspokenly critical of Nixon policies, Beall was steadfast. He refused to discuss Watergate until he was forced to because of revelations of the "Townhouse Operation."
During his 1970 Senate campaign, Beall received $180.000 from a secret White House fund known as the "Townhouse Operation." The money came to light first in 1973, bringing Beall more publicity than he ever received for his legislative work.
But Beall failed to answer all the questions regarding the fund, even after he later was cleared of any wrong-doing by Justice Department investigators. However, Beall lost his seat in 1976 after his Democratic challenger, Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, revived the issue.
The Nixon White House helped Beall's campaign in other significant ways. Nixon and his wife and former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew spoke for Beall around the state.