by Sean Yoes
Special to the AFRO
State Sen. C. Anthony Muse launched an exploratory committee this week to assess his chances of snaring the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Ben Cardin and become the first Black senator from Maryland and the only Black currently in the Senate.
Muse, who represents the 26th Legislative District in Prince George’s County made the announcement Wednesday during the Larry Young Morning Show, a popular radio talk show.
“What I’m doing … is setting up an exploratory committee so that we can make the determination as to whether or not we can be successful,” Muse said during an interview with the AFRO.
Muse and his supporters want to defeat Cardin, who was elected to the Senate in 2006 after a hard fought battle against Kweisi Mfume in the Democratic primary and another rugged contest versus former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele in the general election.
Muse and his team believe the timing could be conducive for electing a Black senator for the first time in Maryland. They point to the fact that Blacks made up 37 percent of Democratic voters in Maryland in 2006 when Cardin defeated Mfume by slightly more than 3 percent.
Now, Sen. Muse contends, Blacks are 51 percent of Democratic voters in the state following the massive surge of Black registered voters in the wake of Barack Obama’s election in 2008.
But the Prince George’s County senator, who also served in the House of Delegates from 1995 to 1999, emphasizes the challenges the state faces instead of demographic shifts. “Maryland ranks last in the nation for job creation,” Muse asserted. “I’ve heard no one dealing with that in a relevant way with relevant answers. Seventy percent of Baltimore City students and 50 percent of Prince George’s County students are not graduating and/or are given a certificate of graduation. I call them voiceless.”
Muse, who experienced a hardscrabble childhood in the Park Heights community of West Baltimore, believes he is uniquely qualified to address the needs of those he characterizes as “voiceless.”
“I’ve gone through 11 foster homes in Baltimore. I’ve been kicked out of three school systems but, was able to get back in because of someone and make something out of myself,” explained Muse.
Sen. Muse, Senior Pastor at the Ark of Safety Christian Church in Upper Marlboro, was adopted by a Methodist minister in Baltimore named George Stansbury, who he credits with turning his life around. He hopes he can inspire others in a similar fashion perhaps.
“When I talk about a voice for the voiceless instead of having no one say to me, `You’re not going to live this way,’ I got adopted by a Methodist preacher … and he was able to speak success into me,” Muse explained. “It was only because I got caught and pulled out [that I was able to make it] and that’s what compels me.
“When you look at the fact that only one-third of our kids are graduating ready for college and ready for a job, I have heard no one speak about that. In my district alone foreclosure is the highest anywhere else in the state, I have not heard the voices of Congress. I have not heard them speaking on these issues and coming up with relevant ideas.”
Muse says he will apply a simple formula he refers to as, “the three m’s,” – message, momentum and money – to determine whether or not he will make a run at the Senate seat occupied by Cardin.“I want to take my message across this state … I’ve been involved in the political arena for over 20 years … I think we’re going in the wrong direction,” Muse said. “That message I’m hoping will create the momentum … then the momentum should equate to money.”