Con­way lost be­cause she ig­nored her con­stituents

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Aimee Har­mon-Dar­row, Bal­ti­more

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.

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