Miedusiewski reportedly selects Fowler for ticket CAMPAIGN 1994

June 28, 1994|By John W. Frece | John W. Frece,Sun Staff Writer Sun staff writer Robert Timberg contributed to this article.

OCEAN CITY -- Democratic gubernatorial candidate American

Joe Miedusiewski has picked Southern Maryland state Sen. Bernie Fowler to be his running mate, sources within the campaign confirmed yesterday.

In choosing the soft-spoken Mr. Fowler, 70, Mr. Miedusiewski has selected someone familiar with the workings of state and local governments. Mr. Fowler announced plans in February to retire from the General Assembly at the end of the year.

During his three terms in the Senate, Mr. Fowler's name has become synonymous with water quality as he earned a reputation as a staunch advocate for the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, especially the Patuxent River.

He is known for walking into the Patuxent to shoulder level each summer in the hope, still unrealized, that he will see his toes, an indication that water quality had improved over the previous 12 months.

Mr. Fowler, from the 29th District in Calvert County, was away from home attending a funeral yesterday and could not be reached for comment. Mr. Miedusiewski, appearing at a candidates' forum at the annual summer conference of the Maryland Municipal League, said, "I'd prefer not to comment on it."

A source within his campaign, however, said the selection of Mr. Fowler was final, and that news conferences were tentatively planned for tomorrow in St. Mary's County and in Baltimore to introduce the ticket. Mr. Miedusiewski represents the 46th District in East Baltimore.

Mr. Miedusiewski would not comment about Mr. Fowler directly, but he described the criteria he was looking for in a running mate -- criteria that match Mr. Fowler's resume.

"I want someone experienced in state government and experienced in local government," he said.

Then, in a shot at Democratic front-runner Parris N. Glendening, who chose Robert F. Kennedy's daughter Kathleen Kennedy Townsend as his running mate, Mr. Miedusiewski said he intentionally stayed away from "big-name people."

Trailing in the polls and with voters rarely recognizing his name outside the Baltimore area, Mr. Miedusiewski had little chance of attracting a "big name" to his ticket.

Like Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg and state Sen. Mary H. Boergers, who are chasing Mr. Glendening for the Democratic nomination, Mr. Miedusiewski's list of potential running mates was largely limited to officials who were planning to leave politics or were already out and thus willing to take the risk of running.

Mr. Fowler, during his nearly 12 years in the state Senate, has compiled a strong record on environmental issues. He has been a consistent vote in the legislature against expanding women's rights to legal abortions. Reflecting his rural roots, Mr. Fowler -- like Mr. Miedusiewski -- also opposed efforts to enact more stringent gun control laws.

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