Miedusiewski names Fowler as running mate CAMPAIGN 1994 -- THE RACE FOR GOVERNOR

June 30, 1994|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,Sun Staff Writer

Democratic gubernatorial candidate American Joe Miedusiewski introduced state Sen. Bernie Fowler as his running mate yesterday, touting the Southern Marylander as "the Chesapeake Bay's best friend."

Mr. Miedusiewski, a state senator from East Baltimore, picked the easygoing Mr. Fowler in an effort to attract rural Maryland's scattered vote and draw support from environmentalists.

He praised Mr. Fowler's "integrity" and high-profile dedication to protecting the bay. Mr. Fowler, he said, "became the standard by which all the other people on our list for lieutenant governor were to be judged . . . because his standards are so high, and I'm so proud of [his] qualifications."

Mr. Fowler, 70, a three-term senator from Calvert County, announced in February he would not seek re-election. He earned a reputation in the legislature as an advocate for the bay and its tributaries, especially the Patuxent River. He previously served as a Calvert County commissioner.

Mr. Fowler said yesterday that he was "honored and flattered" at being selected and that he and Mr. Miedusiewski share "a commonality of interests," particularly in concern for the bay.

Mr. Miedusiewski (pronounced Med-a-SHEF-ski) said that if elected, he would have a job description for the lieutenant governor, though the Maryland Constitution is unspecific. Tentatively, he said, Mr. Fowler would be responsible for overseeing the Department of Natural Resources, among other duties.

He made the announcement in Baltimore yesterday morning and in St. Mary's City in the afternoon. On the way to Southern Maryland, the latest Democratic gubernatorial team stopped in Annapolis to officially file for office with the state election board.

While other candidates are vying for the vote-laden Baltimore area and Washington suburbs, Mr. Miedusiewski took the opportunity yesterday to make a pitch to the outlying counties. "The rest of Maryland has to be recognized and given a place at the table," he said.

Without mentioning specific candidates, Mr. Miedusiewski drew distinctions between himself and Mr. Fowler and other gubernatorial aspirants and their selections for lieutenant governor.

Mr. Miedusiewski repeatedly took aim at Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg, another Democrat running for governor, who fell from Gov. William Donald Schaefer's favor in 1990 after a public split on an administration tax package. Since then, Mr. Schaefer has treated Mr. Steinberg as a nonperson.

"I think people want someone who will do the job, someone who will serve as an active lieutenant governor, someone who will earn his salary," Mr. Miedusiewski said.

He also took a shot at Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, running mate of Prince George's County Executive Parris N. Glendening, the Democratic front-runner. Mrs. Townsend, daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, has never held elected office.

"I don't want [voters] to be blinded by names that evoke memories," he said. "I want them to be guided by someone who has a proven track record, someone who won't be an on-the-job trainee."

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