- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2004

In modern times, general elections have been political graveyards for moderate and conservative Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate from Maryland. No Republican has been elected to the Senate since 1980, when liberal Republican Sen. Charles Mathias bested a Democratic state legislator who ran against him from the right. Today, state Sen. E.J. Pipkin, a conservative Republican from Queen Anne’s County, is seeking to reverse that history by upsetting one of the staunchest of liberals: Barbara Mikulski.

Miss Mikulski won her last two Senate races with more than 70 percent of the vote, and is expected to outspend Mr. Pipkin by roughly 3-1. But it would be a huge mistake to discount Mr. Pipkin, who is a far cry from the sort of perennial candidates who have frequently run for statewide office in Maryland.

Two years ago, Mr. Pipkin, a Dundalk native, used millions of dollars he made as a bond trader on Wall Street to defeat Democratic state Sen. Walter Baker, one of the most powerful lawmakers in Annapolis. His first move into state politics came as a leading opponent of dumping dredge spoils into the Chesapeake Bay. He is and was sharply critical of Mr. Baker, former Gov. Parris Glendening and Miss Mikulski for refusing to act vigorously to protect the Bay.

Mr. Pipkin supports the war; Miss Mikulski voted against this war and the 1991Gulf War. Mr. Pipkin, who has stood with Gov. Robert Ehrlich against tax increases, while Miss Mikulski voted hundreds of times to increase taxes. He also has sharp differences with Miss Mikulski on partial-birth abortion (she has been a virtual down-the-line supporter of abortion rights). He supports the Federal Marriage Amendment, while she opposes it. Unlike Miss Mikulski (and, for that matter, the Bush administration), he supports enhanced cooperation between federal and state law enforcement agencies in fighting illegal immigration.

Mr. Pipkin is by far the best choice. The Washington Times urges a vote for E.J. Pipkin for Senate from Maryland.

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