Conway lost because she ignored her constituents
The Sun’s coverage of the Maryland Senate race in the 43rd District had it wrong (“Mary Washington claims victory in Maryland Senate race against Joan Carter Conway,” July 6). The Sun tried to frame this race in the context of young generation versus old generation, because in two other districts where incumbents were challenged, the challenger was 30 years younger than the incumbent. I’m not sure if it was laziness or just lack of initiative that led The Sun to try to squeeze the 43rd District’s Senate race into the same narrative, but now that it’s over, you should really look more closely at what really happened.
As a resident of the 43rd, I can tell you that having such a disengaged senator was the source of much frustration. Calls or emails to Sen. Joan Carter Conway’s office were ignored; she never showed up to community meetings. When she did show up, it wasn’t to listen; it was to tell us, as her constituents, how things work as if we needed a lecture instead of representation. She was often condescending to her constituents, even if they had traveled all the way to Annapolis to meet with her. She couldn’t be bothered.
But on the other hand, in the House of Delegates for the last eight years, the 43rd was lucky enough to have Del. Mary Washington. Delegate Washington was present in our district, responded to calls and emails, worked to bring people together to solve issues. A lot of her initiatives stalled in the Senate, where good policy goes to wither. Many of us encouraged Delegate Washington to run for Senate so our district’s voice would be represented.
Delegate Washington’s energy is youthful, but she isn’t a novice. She’s been a community leader for years before being elected to the House and then served two terms as our delegate before running for Senate. This wasn’t a race about young versus old as much as it was about engaged leadership versus taking up space.