- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele said today his campaign for the U.S. Senate would give “the ‘hood” a voice on Capitol Hill.

“The ‘hood is going to show up on the Hill,” Mr. Steele, a Republican and the first black elected to statewide office in Maryland, told supporters in Temple Hills. “That is what this campaign is all about and that scares some people when I say stuff like that — on both sides of the aisle, God bless them.”

Mr. Steele said he delivered a similar message to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican supporting Mr. Steele’s run.

“I told him, ‘Be careful what you wish for — a brother shows up, I bring people,’” Mr. Steele said to about 70 supporters at the opening of his state campaign headquarters in Temple Hills. “You have all had one of those picnics, right?”

The remark drew laughter and cheers from the crowd.

Wayne K. Curry, a Democrat and former Prince George’s County executive who attended the event, said the speech echoed Mr. Steele’s “philosophy of opening doors to opportunity” for all races and economic classes.

“There is still disparity between races and classes,” Mr. Curry said. “He is saying that he plans to tackle that. It think these are noble ideas and I think the attention is long overdue.”

Mr. Curry stopped short of endorsing Mr. Steele.

Mr. Steele faces scant opposition in the Republican primary.

Democrats vying for their party’s nomination in the Senate race include U.S. Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, former National Association of the Advancement of Colored People leader Kweisi Mfume and Bethesda businessman Josh Rales.

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