Maryland Politics: Ferguson - young face, old tactics

September 14, 2010|By Annie Linskey | Baltimore Sun reporter

Canton this morning was swarmed supporters of Bill Ferguson, the 27-year-old Teach for America volunteer who is trying to unseat 27-year Senate veteran George Della. Notepads and lists in hand, the volunteers were putting these hangers on select doors. (This one was on a door step at Maderia and Fleet streets.)

The billet advertises a 46th district "Democratic Team" which names Gov. Martin O'Malley and popular U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski at the top of the ticket. Ferguson's name also appears on the list of candidates, a not-so-subtle suggestion that the young challenger has been endorsed by the Democratic establishment.

The problem: Ferguson hasn't been endorsed by top-of-the-ticket Dems. O'Malley's website shows that the governor wants Della to win in the 46th. Ferguson, probably quite busy today, has yet replied to a message.

Such billets are not unusual in the rough and tumble of Maryland politics. They frequently appear the day before or the day of an election, when there's not enough time for the record to be corrected.

Ferguson also didn't check with Mikulski before using her name on the campaign piece, according to Simone Ward, the Senator's campaign manager. "The Senator has not endorsed any primary candidates," Ward said.

She said that it is more "appropriate" for a candidate to check before slapping her name on a door hanger. "They are trying to imply they've been endorsed," she explained.

But, Ward put a positive spin on the faux endorsement. "It is an example of the local ticket supporting the Senator's re-election bid," she said.

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