While the Prince George's chairwoman, Del. Carolyn J.B. Howard, said she does not intend to directly ask for a delegation vote on whether slots should be permitted in their jurisdiction, several county delegates said they plan to press for a vote on Johnson's request.
"Why should we have that garbage in Prince George's County?" asked Del. James W. Hubbard. "Why should we be the only location in the Washington metropolitan area? The fairgrounds in Gaithersburg seems to be a good place to me. Why aren't we sharing this with Montgomery County?"
The chairwoman of the Baltimore delegation, Salima S. Marriott, said yesterday she does not intend to ask for a vote on slots in the city, saying the legislation is "not a local bill."
But the chairmen of three other delegations - Anne Arundel, Howard and Montgomery counties - said they would agree to vote if requested by Hixson or Busch, or if their county delegates push for it.
Responding to persistent concerns about the influence of gambling lobbyists and slots-related campaign donations, Hixson said she doubted they would have much effect on the outcome of slots in her committee.
Hixson raised more than $11,000 from companies and lobbyists connected to gambling since the 2003 legislative session, according to state election records, about a quarter of the money she raised during that nine-month period. Eleven of her committee's 20 other members also received at least one donation from a person or company with slots ties.
"We received the same amount this year that we received last year and the year before that, and we've killed their bill each time," Hixson said. "We could kill the bill again this year."
Sun staff writer Michael Dresser contributed to this article.