Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

February 18, 2014

Newspaper poll could reflect what happened in 1978 election

Being of a certain age, one could not help but think back 36 years ago to the 1978 Democrat gubernatorial primary campaign featuring Blair Lee, Ted Venetoulis, Wally Orlinsky, and Harry Hughes.

There are a number of similarities in the upcoming 2014 Democrat primary and the 1978 race where Mr. Hughes, with little statewide name recognition found himself running last, having little money, no TV ads, and as State Sen. Harry J. McGuirk famously opined, “A Lost Ball in High Grass.”

His campaign was based on three themes: integrity, independence, and restoring public trust. The times were different then with political corruption and scandal on the minds of Marylanders.

At the time, Hughes was in fourth place after a year of campaigning showing barely 8 percent in the pre-primary opinion polls, with a high percentage of voters saying they were undecided. There were only four weeks before the primary election.

And then, The Sun endorsed Harry Hughes who went on to serve two distinguished terms as governor.

An argument could be made that The Sun poll of early 2014 may be a timely reflection of that 1978 campaign with Delegate Heather Mizeur as the beneficiary.

John N. Bambacus

Frostburg

 

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