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Government & Politics

Mystery Man Sam Bogley Speaks — Via Email

Samuel W. Bogley III was a little-known 36-year-old Prince George’s County councilman when political underdog Harry R. Hughes asked him to join his ticket as a candidate for lieutenant governor in the 1978 Democratic primaries.

Bogley’s single term in the state’s second-highest office was largely obscure – and his isolation was exacerbated by the fact that he and Hughes split bitterly on the issue of abortion rights.

Samuel W. Bogley III when he was lieutenant governor

In 1982, Hughes dumped Bogley from his ticket as he ran for reelection — and Bogley hooked on as the candidate for lieutenant governor with Harry James McGuirk. Hughes won the Democratic primary easily, and Bogley quietly retreated into a 35-year political hiatus, practicing law and serving on the federal Merit System Protection Board as an appointee of President Reagan’s.

Now, Bogley, who is 76, is attempting a comeback – but his effort is every bit as quiet and obscure as his earlier political career. On the Feb. 27 filing deadline for candidates, Bogley, who lives in Bowie, joined the Democratic primary for Prince George’s County executive.

He hasn’t given an interview since, has no campaign website, and filed an affidavit with the Maryland State Board of Elections earlier this month pledging not to raise or spend more than $1,000 on his campaign.

But in an email to Maryland Matters, Bogley said that with his candidacy he offers his experience at the federal, state and county levels of government. If elected, he aims to reduce the county’s tax rate and government spending.

“The federal squeeze put on our High Tax State of Maryland and Prince George’s County and its 28 municipalities requires that we hold on to our existing and increase the number of taxpayers,” he said.

If elected, Bogley said he would also “use tutors and our home schooling curricula to continue the education of our public school students. Promote further economic development that will increase employment opportunities for our residents (e.g. filling Amazon’s new jobs). Repair our roads and gateways.”

Before their term began Hughes required Bogley to sign a written agreement that he would not publicly contradict Hughes during their time in office. But the pact didn’t last: Bogley’s wife, Rita, would actively lobby for anti-abortion legislation that the Hughes administration opposed. Before long, the governor and lieutenant governor had stopped speaking.

As Bogley’s term in Annapolis was ending in 1983, The Washington Post reported that during his time in office, entire days in Bogley’s calendar would be left blank, and he would often skip executive staff meetings because he “felt like an intruder.”

Though a self-proclaimed “professional neutral,” Bogley is one of the nine Democrats seeking the nomination for county executive, with incumbent Rushern L. Baker III (D) term-limited and running for governor. The leading contenders are State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks, former U.S. Rep. Donna F. Edwards, and state Sen. C. Anthony Muse.

Bogley may find himself feeling “like an intruder” yet again.


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Mystery Man Sam Bogley Speaks — Via Email