This is supposed to be the year when incumbents are running scared. But except for Rep. Roy Dyson in the 1st District, Maryland's congressional representatives face only long-shot challengers. Marylanders seem to feel that whatever rascals need to be thrown out must reside in other states. For the most part, they are right. With one notable exception -- Rep. Dyson -- voters will be well-served to retain their representatives. On balance, Maryland now has a dedicated, accomplished and increasingly effective delegation in Washington whose members work well together for the good of the state.
Dyson has used his position on the Armed Forces Committee to become a favorite recipient for PAC contributions from the defense industry -- apparently because he can be trusted to come through with the desired votes. That is a curious accomplishment indeed for a man who avoided service in the Vietnam War by obtaining conscientious objector status. Dyson says now it was merely that war he objected to -- not all wars. But that excuse suggests that Dyson's CO status was granted only in violation of the meaning and spirit of the exemption. If those are truly his sentiments, then his avoidance of military service was grossly unfair to the men who did their duty despite their objections to national policy, as well as to those who chose jail or exile. It is also an insult to the men and women who are today risking their lives in the Persian Gulf.
For his decade in Congress, Roy Dyson has little of consequence to show besides his considerable success in currying favor with large contributors. Voters in this district deserve better. In our view, Republican Wayne Gilchrest is qualified to provide the principled, effective representation they
now lack. We heartily endorse his candidacy and urge his election.
From the 2nd District, Republican Rep. Helen Delich Bentley uses her party connections to keep a line of communication open to the White House. Her Democratic opponent, Ronald Bowers, is a career civil servant who approaches the issues facing the country in an impressively thoughtful way. However, his experience is no match for Bentley's. We endorse Bentley.
Democratic Rep. Ben Cardin of the 3rd District has continued the pattern he set in Annapolis of quiet, effective competence. He deserves re-election over his Republican opponent, Harwood Nichols. In the 4th District, Rep. Tom McMillen has performed well in his two terms. We endorse him over his Republican opponent, Robert P. Duckworth.
Since his election to Congress in 1981, Rep. Steny Hoyer of the 5th District has risen to a top leadership position in the House. We heartily endorse his re-election over Republican Lee F. Breuer. As a conservative Democrat, Rep. Beverly Byron of the 6th District continues to read her constituents' leanings. She earns our endorsement over Republican Christopher Fiotes Jr.
In two terms, Rep. Kweise Mfume of the 7th District has become a respected member of the Banking and Small Business committees, as well as a leader in the Congressional Black Caucus. Voters will be well-served by re-electing him over Republican Kenneth Kondner.
In Montgomery County's 8th District, Rep. Connie Morella continues Maryland's tradition of sending respected, moderate Republicans to Washington. She has represented her constituents well and deserves another term.