A day before the first big presidential election test in the New Hampshire primary, Maryland Public Television is turning its focus on the most interesting Congressional races here at home.
In "Voters Ask," a series of six forum programs, MPT is providing viewers an opportunity to hear from candidates for the U.S. Senate seat of Democrat Barbara Mikulski and candidates for the House of Representatives in two newly formed state districts.
Republican hopefuls for the Senate were scheduled to face a panel of questioners at 1:30 p.m. today, followed at 4:15 by Democratic candidates. Dave Durian and Sue Kopen are hosts of the MPT series.
Five Democrats and 13 Republicans have filed to oppose incumbent Ms. Mikulski for the U.S. Senate.
At 11 o'clock tonight, MPT will air the first of four forums involving candidates in the 1st and 4th Congressional Districts. Democrats in the 1st are due tonight, and Republicans in that district at the same hour next Monday.
Republicans for the 4th District will be heard at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, and Democrats at that hour the following Saturday, Feb. 29.
Tonight's forum focuses on one of the hottest races of the year, for recent redistricting has put incumbent Representatives Tom McMillen (D-4th) and Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-1st) in the same district. The territory includes the Eastern Shore and parts of Anne Arundel County.
Five other Democrats filed to oppose Mr. McMillen, and four other Republicans filed against Mr. Gilchrest.
The 4th District is a majority-black district carved out of Prince George's and Montgomery counties, where there is no sitting congressman. Twelve Democrats and eight Republicans are entered.
RADIO DAZE -- Who says classical music stations are stuffy? One day last week fill-in host Bill Spencer on WJHU-FM 88.1 went to the 4 p.m. news by playing a lengthy medley of theme songs from the movies and TV series. Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops were the perpetrators.
And as the finale of "Hawaii Five-O" faded away, Mr. Spencer asked Sandra Woodward for a traffic report from the JFX, "to see if anybody's driving like Jack Lord." It momentarily cracked her up.