Conaway, Marriott join Senate race

Maryland Votes 2006

June 20, 2006|By JOHN FRITZE | JOHN FRITZE,SUN REPORTER

A state lawmaker and a member of the Baltimore City Council said yesterday that they are candidates to replace state Sen. Ralph M. Hughes, who announced last month that he would not seek re-election after representing District 40 for more than two decades.

Councilwoman Belinda Conaway and Del. Salima S. Marriott join Del. Catherine E. Pugh, a former city councilwoman, in the Democratic primary election for the state Senate seat in West Baltimore. Pugh and Marriott represent the 40th District in the House of Delegates.

"Our district really does need strong leadership that brings people together," said Marriott, who said she intends to run with a new slate of candidates in the district. "We are a very diverse district. We are really a microcosm of the city."

Hughes, a Baltimore native, was elected to the House of Delegates in 1982 and to the Senate in 1990. His decision not to run, announced in May, surprised many of his colleagues.

Marriott, who has served in the House since 1991, has long been considered a possible candidate for the seat. She has scheduled a news conference today to announce her intentions. Conaway, whose 7th Council District overlaps with much of the 40th, released a statement yesterday.

"I have been an independent voice for the community, and I strongly believe that we need an independent voice at the senate level," said Conaway, who was elected to the council in 2004.

"People in the community know that they can depend on me to give whatever assistance I can," she said.

Both candidates will face Pugh, who has represented the 40th since she was sworn in last year to replace the late Del. Tony E. Fulton. In an interview yesterday, Hughes said he will endorse Pugh.

"What I bring to the table is leadership, vision and my ability to be understanding of the needs of the district," said Pugh. "We have to work across the aisle with other jurisdictions in order to bring to our city what we need."

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