Maryland House Speaker Benjamin L. Cardin yesterday withdrew from consideration as Gov. Harry Hughes' running mate, making it virtually certain that Baltimore state Sen. J. Joseph Curran Jr. will get the No. 2 spot on the Hughes ticket.
Hughes and Cardin discussed the possibility of a Hughes-Cardin ticket for a second time on Tuesday, after which Cardin said he was besieged with calls from friends urging him to join the Democratic ticket. But yesterday afternoon Cardin called Hughes and told him that he was definitely not interested in joining the ticket.
Cardin, 38, had been mentioned as a replacement for incumbent Lt. Gov. Samuel W. Bogley since Hughes announced last summer that Bogley would not be on the ticket this year. But although he had not removed himself from consideration before yesterday, he had shown little interest in the job. His only reason for waiting this long to make a final decision, friends said, was pressure in Baltimore to accept the spot.
Hughes staffers said yesterday that if Cardin had removed his name, the only remaining candidate was Curran. "Unless something's been going on I don't know about, it was just Ben and Joe," said one.
Curran, 50, a member of the Senate for the last 20 years, told Hughes a month ago that he would be his running mate if the job was offered. Yesterday, Curran said he had not been contacted by Hughes or his people this week. Hughes was to be in New York today, and an announcement is expected Friday.
Hughes, greeting about 200 supporters at a $50-a-person Silver Spring fund-raiser, would not comment on who his running mate would be. Last night was a relaxed one for the governor, who reportedly raised $20,000 at his fund-raiser before heading up the Beltway to attend a fund-raiser for Prince George's Sen. Tommie Broadwater Jr.
Also at the Broadwater event was Hughes' Democratic primary opponent, state Sen. Harry J. McGuirk (D-Baltimore), but McGuirk did not stay to be introduced.
A number of politicians from this area attended the two fund-raisers. In Silver Spring Hughes was introduced by County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist and was preceded to the microphone by Rep. Michael Barnes, who spoke for less than a minute.
In Prince George's Hughes was introduced by Rep. Steny H. Hoyer and was surrounded by the county Senate delegation as he made his way around the ballroom shaking hands.
One noted Republican showed up at the Democratic event. Anne Arundel County Executive Robert A. Pascal, seeking the GOP nomination for governor, arrived after Hughes had left.