May 21, 2002
Helen Bentley makes comeback attempt
One of the U.S.maritime industry's most fervent defenders on Capitol Hill, Helen Delich Bentley, is making a comeback attempt. Should she succeed, the news will gladden the hearts of all those who believe that when Moses came down from the mountain he had the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 under one arm and the Jones Act under the other.
The five-term congresswoman, a Nixon appointee as chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, and award-winning journalist, today announced that she is the Republican candidate for the House of Representatives from Maryland's 2nd district, a seat she vacated in 1995.
Bentley spoke before more than 300 supporters on a pier with the backdrop of a busy Baltimore waterfront, an area she covered and help develop as a reporter for nearly a quarter century with the Baltimore Sun. "Make no mistake, my friends, this port is still the engine that drives the economy of Baltimore," she said in explaining the historical significance of the location.
"When I first decided to run for Congress many years ago, it was because I believed in my heart that I had a great deal to offer to the people of this nation and district. I have realized over the past few months that I once again have that same deep-seated belief," she said.
Bentley, who had been considering the run for several months, spoke about the issues that helped her decision. "My thoughts, like the spokes of a wheel, keep returning to one central abiding theme -- And that theme is security . . . and all its component parts. Homeland security, national security and economic security. It is because of what I have to offer, the unique perspective I bring, in these three areas, that I want to return to the Congress."
Bentley was the first woman to serve as head of the FMC, when she was appointed its chairman by Richard Nixon. During her first stint in Congress, she served on a number of powerful committees and built a reputation as a formidable legislator, negotiator, and relentless fighter for the country and the people of Maryland