With the primary just weeks away, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D) and his challenger, Maryland State Senator C. Anthony Muse, are mobilizing pastors and talking about diversity in the run-up to the April 3 vote.
On Thursday, President Obama spoke at Prince George’s Community College and later headed to Clinton, along with Cardin, for lunch at Texas Rib and BBQ.
Playing down the presidential visit, Muse countered that more than 200 faith leaders attended one of his recent campaign events.
“I am glad that the senator got himself a lunch with the president, but what has he gotten for the state of Maryland?” Muse said. He added that he missed Obama’s speech at Prince Georges Community College because “we were voting on the budget.”
After Obama’s speech, Cardin invited several pastors to pose for pictures wth the president. They included Rev. Delman Coates, Rev. Donte Hickman, Rev. Anthony G. Macklin and Bishop A.J. Richardson of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Coates, who testified with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in support of same-sex marriage legislation in the state, said he is supporting Cardin because “what people are looking for is elected officials who are broad enough to speak to the needs of all the citizens. We all remember Dr. King’s famous words: ‘not by the color of our skin, but the content of our character.’”
But Muse said he too has reached out and attracted people beyond the African American community.
“I was endorsed by clergy, citizens and pastors and various groups like the Baltimore Minister Conference,” he said. “We have Native Americans, Latinos, whites. If you drive up to Carroll County, drive through Fredrick, you will see as many of my signs as there as in Prince George’s County and Baltimore city.”