Congressman's wife dislikes politics

IN THE 'SNAKE PIT'

May 26, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Ellen Bartlett was a reluctant political wife. She had long supported Congresswoman Beverly B. Byron, who represented Maryland's 6th District for 14 years, and said she wasn't enthusiastic when her husband decided to run for the seat.

"I think politics is a snake pit. I don't like it, I don't want any part of it," Mrs. Bartlett recalled saying.

She spoke Monday night at the Carroll County Republican Club meeting about how her husband, Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett of Frederick, decided to run for Mrs. Byron's seat last year. Twenty-two people attended the gathering at Baugher's Country Restaurant in Westminster.

Mr. Bartlett said the Republican ticket should have a strong candidate in the event Mrs. Byron lost the Democratic primary, Mrs. Bartlett said. And that's what happened. State Del. Thomas H. Hattery of Mount Airy won the Democratic primary and was defeated by Mr. Bartlett in the general election.

Mrs. Bartlett hit the campaign trail for her husband, but said she wasn't trained for it.

"I'm not a public speaker. I'm a homemaker, and I'm proud of it," she said.

Being married to a politician is a challenge, she said.

"It's a real roller coaster ride. You have to have a real sense of humor," Mrs. Bartlett said.

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