Over the past few decades, primary campaigns in Maryland have given Republicans slim pickings and Democrats a wealth of political options. This year, the reverse situation is the case in the U.S. Senate campaigns.
Joseph I. Cassilly is our choice for the Republican nomination. He has proved a popular state's attorney in Harford County, now serving his third elective term. Mr. Cassilly's positions on many issues are quite conservative, but he has also displayed a willingness to listen to all sides and to seek common ground. On the Democratic ballot, we endorse Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who is concluding a solid first term as a strong voice for Maryland in the all-important appropriations battles.
The hottest House races are taking place in two vastly re-drawn districts -- the 1st and the 4th. First district Republican incumbent Wayne T. Gilchrest has earned our endorsement in the primary. He has displayed considerable courage in his congressional votes and has emerged as an independent thinker. In the Democratic race, another incumbent, Tom McMillen, has been placed in the 1st district. We have been disappointed by some of Mr. McMillen's actions in Congress but he still has performed ably enough to warrant renomination.
The real donnybrook is occurring in the 4th district of the Washington suburbs, where 20 candidates are campaigning. Among Republicans, we prefer Michele Dyson, an eloquent entrepreneur promoting black business empowerment. The best candidate among the Democrats is Alexander Williams Jr., the Prince George's state's attorney.
Another district where voters ought to size up candidates carefully is the 6th district, represented by Beverly Byron, whose specialty is defense matters. The Byron name has been a guaranteed vote-winner for decades. But this time, we feel Democrats should opt for a progressive and thoughtful voice, Del. Tom Hattery of Frederick County. On the Republican ballot, the best of this meager field is farmer-businessman Michael Downey.
In the 2nd district, Rep. Helen Bentley richly deserves the GOP nomination, while on the Democratic side our nod goes to Harford County lawyer Michael C. Hickey Jr. Among 3rd district Republicans, we endorse former Motor Vehicle Administration chief William T. S. Bricker; on the Democratic ballot, the clear choice is incumbent Benjamin L. Cardin. Republican Kenneth Kondner is unopposed in the 7th district, while Democratic incumbent Kweisi Mfume has earned our support.
Voters in the 5th district are advised to support Republican businessman Lawrence Hogan Jr., the son of a former congressman, and Democratic incumbent Steny Hoyer, a powerful figure in the House hierarchy. Finally, in Montgomery County, incumbent Republican Constance Morella has no primary challengers while the best of a weak field of Democrats is James Walker Jr.