Former Prince George’s County executive Wayne K. Curry, backed by five black members of the Prince George’s County Council, today endorsed Republican Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele’s campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Mr. Curry, a Democrat who became the first black Prince George’s county executive in 1994, and served two terms, is influential in Prince George’s, the state’s second-largest county, with about 846,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Council members David Harrington, Camille Exum, Samuel H. Dean, Marilynn M. Bland and Tony Knotts joined Mr. Curry in backing Mr. Steele, who is black.
Prince George’s is also 65 percent black, and is expected to play a key role in Maryland’s Nov. 7 U.S. Senate race between Mr. Steele, who is from Prince George’s, and Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, who is white and from Baltimore.
Mr. Curry signaled his dissatisfaction with Maryland’s Democratic Party last spring, when a Democratic poll was leaked to the press, calling Mr. Steele a “unique threat” to the Democrats.
The poll advised Democrats to “knock Steele down” by linking Mr. Steele to President Bush and national Republicans, to turn Mr. Steele “into a typical Republican in the eyes of voters, as opposed to an African-American candidate.”
Mr. Curry was incensed by the poll, and said at the time that Mr. Steele’s candidacy presented an “enormously historic” opportunity for blacks that “may ultimately break this sort of vices grip by Democrats who feel entitled to black votes regardless of how they treat black voters.”
This is huge. Little by little, Steele is making inroads in the black community, and that’s got to be making the Cardin campaign squirm. Democrats count on over 90% of the black vote being theirs. Even just a few points going Steele’s way could make all the difference next week.
Speaking of little by little, the Robert Plant song by the same title is one of my favorites: