1974 United States Senate election in Maryland

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United States Senate election in Maryland, 1974

← 1968 November 5, 1974 1980 →
  Charlesmathiasjr.jpg Senator Nancy Kassebaum's retirement party (cropped).jpg
Nominee Charles Mathias, Jr. Barbara Mikulski
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 503,223 374,663
Percentage 57.32% 42.68%

U.S. Senator before election

Charles Mathias, Jr.

Elected U.S. Senator

Charles Mathias, Jr.

The 1974 United States Senate election in Maryland was held on November 5, 1974 to elect one of Maryland's members to the United States Senate. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Charles Mathias won re-election to a second term.


As a Republican representing heavily Democratic Maryland, Mathias faced a potentially difficult re-election bid for the 1974 election. State Democrats nominated Barbara Mikulski, then a Baltimore City Councilwoman who was well-known to residents in her city as a social activist, but with limited name recognition in the rest of the state.[1] Mathias was renominated by Republicans, fending off a primary election challenge from conservative doctor Ross Pierpont. Pierpont was never a substantial threat to Mathias, whose lack of competition was due in part to fallout from the Watergate scandal.[2][3]

As an advocate for campaign finance reform, Mathias refused to accept any contribution over $100 to "avoid the curse of big money that has led to so much trouble in the last year".[4] However, he still managed to raise over $250,000, nearly five times Mikulski's total. Ideologically, Mikulski and Mathias agreed on many issues, such as closing tax loopholes and easing taxes on the middle class. On two issues, however, Mathias argued to reform Congress and the U.S. tax system to address inflation and corporate price fixing, contrary to Mikulski.[1] In retrospect, The Washington Post felt the election was "an intelligent discussion of state, national, and foreign affairs by two smart, well-informed people".[5]

General election[edit]


  • Barbara A. Mikulski (D), Baltimore City Councilwoman
  • Charles McC. Mathias, Jr. (R), incumbent U.S. Senator


United States Senate election in Maryland, 1974[6]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Charles McC. Mathias, Jr. (Incumbent) 503,223 57.3
Democratic Barbara A. Mikulski 374,663 42.7
Invalid or blank votes
Total votes 877,886 100.00
Republican hold

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Barker, Karlyn (November 6, 1974). "Mathias Is Elected To a Second Term". The Washington Post. p. A12.
  2. ^ Watson, Douglas (August 15, 1974). "Mathias Purge Threat Ends: White House Scandals Boost Senator's Re-election Bid". The Washington Post. p. C1.
  3. ^ Barker, Karlyn (September 11, 1974). "Mathias Wins GOP Md. Race". The Washington Post. p. A24.
  4. ^ Richards, Bill (February 3, 1974). "Sen. Mathias Re-Election Drive Opens". The Washington Post. p. B1.
  5. ^ "U.S. Senate Choice in Maryland". The Washington Post. October 22, 1980. p. A22.
  6. ^ "1974 Senatorial General Election Results - Maryland".