JAMES WRIGHT WRITES

Sen. Van Hollen? What about Sen. Cummings?

Posted in Uncategorized by afronews on April 3, 2009

Yesterday, I wrote about the success that Rep. Chris Van Hollen is having keeping the Democrats in Power in the House and the strong likelihood that the Dems number may expand in 2010. Usually, a successful political leader who expands the numbers in his/her party can look forward to moving to the next level.

That is why there is this talk of Chris Van Hollen replacing Barbara Mikulski in the U.S. Senate when she retires. There is every indication that Mikulski will run again in 2010 and no one in their right mind will challenge her. But that should be her last term because in 2016 she will be 80 and would have served the people of Maryland and the country well.

I like Chris Van Hollen but I really think that it is time for an African American to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Maryland. My choice would be Baltimore Rep. Elijah Cummings, a man who has shown that he can work with both Democrats and Republicans and represent urban as well as suburban interests. The year, 2016, would be ripe for Cummings because demographics show that Maryland is poised to become a majority-minority state in 2020. That year, minority voting strength would likely be at its highest ever.

Right now, Baltimore City and Prince George’s County, the state’s third and first Democratic voting blocs, respectively, are majority minority. Charles County will soon be 50 percent minority by 2014 and Montgomery County may be majority minority by 2012. Not only are these jurisdictions the largest in the state but they are urban-suburban, where minorities tend to reside and are Democrats bulwarks.

Cummings, who will be about 64 in 2016, will be a well-seasoned pol in Washington and would know how to represent Maryland well in the U.S. Senate. It is no secret that often the best U.S. senators served in the U.S. House of Representatives for a number of terms.

As I said before I like Van Hollen, but it is time for Blacks to break up the “old boy” and “old girl” network in Maryland. Baltimore and Prince George’s County consistently deliver for the Democratic Party but often what happens is that the Black community gets crumbs.

I say enough already! When Barbara Mikulski wins in 2010, I think Cummings should secretly start building his base of support and money for 2016. Marylanders can no longer have one race represent the state in the Senate.

Other politically-talented people of color deserve a chance. I think it should start in 2016 with Elijah Cummings.

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