Endorsements for Congress

September 02, 1994

Maryland's congressional delegation, like the state itself, is a study in diversity. We elect some of the nation's most liberal members of Congress -- and some of the most conservative. Republican or Democrat, urban or rural, male or female, they all play a pivotal role in promoting the interests of state residents and businesses.

The Sun has already endorsed candidates in Districts 2 and 6. The following are recommendations in the state's remaining six districts:

* First District Republican Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest faces three weak opponents. Voters should return Mr. Gilchrest to Congress. His moderate views -- displayed last month when he rose above partisanship to vote for the crime bill compromise -- are an asset in a legislative body stymied by gridlock. Among Democrats, we prefer George Washington University professor Steven R. Eastaugh of Berlin. His knowledge of the issues far outshines his rivals.

* Third District Democratic Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin faces token rTC opposition. Our strong endorsement goes to Mr. Cardin, a thoughtful and diligent congressman. There is no Republican primary.

* Fourth District Democratic Rep. Albert R. Wynn is being challenged by anti-tobacco activist Robert Bates. Our nod goes to Mr. Wynn. Republican Michele Dyson is unopposed.

* In the 5th District Democratic primary, Rep. Steny Hoyer, the state's most influential congressman, should be renominated. Among Republicans, former Reagan personnel director Donald Devine has raised far more money than his rivals but we recommend John E. Smathers, a former Prince George's County assistant prosecutor. The two men espouse extreme conservative views, but Mr. Smathers' professional background and practical approach to problems, especially crime, make him a better choice.

* The 7th District, now represented by Democrat Kweisi Mfume, has no contested primaries.

* In the 8th District, incumbent Republican Rep. Constance A. Morella faces token opposition from Arnold Anderjaska, a retired aeronautical engineer who opposes her pro-choice stand on abortion. We strongly endorse Ms. Morella, a moderate Republican in the tradition of Theodore R. McKeldin and Charles McC. Mathias.

The Democratic field includes some quirky contenders, from Jonathan Leeds, a follower of Lyndon LaRouche, to Ralph K. Shur, a gas station cashier and amateur historical novelist, to George W. Benns, an 83-year-old perennial candidate who promises to wipe out the federal deficit and national debt within a year.

Two candidates who should be taken seriously are Donald M. Deichman, an environmental and labor activist, and Steven Van Grack, a lawyer and former mayor of Rockville. We recommend Mr. Van Grack, whose experience as an elected official makes him the best qualified candidate to be the Democratic standard bearer.

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