Allan Lichtman: Political historian announces Senate candidacy

American University political historian Allan Lichtman announced his candidacy today for U.S. Senate, saying his upstart campaign for the Democratic nomination was a challenge to a tradition of Maryland Democrats anointing a front-runner in statewide races.

Speaking at his son's middle school in Bethesda, Lichtman compared himself to the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, a Minnesota political scientist who won a Senate seat in 1990 without ever holding elected office. And he challenged the record of Rep. Ben Cardin, D-Md., a leading candidate in the Democratic primary.

"The anointment model has never worked in Maryland. It is a recipe for a Republican senator in 2006," Lichtman said.

He joins a growing field of Democrats seeking the party nomination in 2006 to replace the retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes. Along with Cardin, former congressman and NAACP head Kweisi Mfume is running. Social activist A. Robert Kaufman and psychiatrist Lise Van Susteren, the sister of Fox News television personality Greta Van Susteren, are also campaigning for the seat.

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