Women's caucus endorses Menes for state treasurer General Assembly vote is expected Friday

January 16, 1996|By Marina Sarris | Marina Sarris,SUN STAFF

The women's caucus of the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly last night to endorse the candidacy of a veteran female lawmaker for state treasurer.

Del. Pauline H. Menes, who has represented Prince George's County for 29 years, received 20 votes while Del. Richard N. Dixon of Carroll County won seven.

Mr. Dixon, a conservative Democrat, is regarded as the front-runner because he enjoys the backing of House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. of Cumberland.

Mrs. Menes is a liberal-to-moderate Democrat with a strong history of supporting women's rights.

Before voting by secret ballot, caucus members questioned both candidates closely about their positions on women's issues, state investment policy, environmental protection and diversity within the treasurer's office.

When asked about her votes on women's issues, Mrs. Menes, 71, outlined a decades-long history of sponsoring bills aimed at combating child abuse, sexual abuse and domestic violence.

By contrast, Mr. Dixon, 57, responded briefly, saying that he has supported funding in areas of concern to women while serving on the House Appropriations Committee. He did not elaborate.

The two are competing to replace Treasurer Lucille Maurer, who announced her resignation this month because of poor health.

The treasurer is responsible for managing and investing state money, supervising government bond sales and representing lawmakers on the Board of Public Works, which awards millions in state contracts.

The $100,000-a year position is filled by a vote of all members of the General Assembly. The vote is expected Friday.

Several female lawmakers said Mrs. Menes had the edge over Mr. Dixon because of her stronger, more liberal record on women's issues and environmental protection.

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