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He was an underdog, a liberal reformer in a county still heavily white and rural. Hoyer pushed for better treatment of rape victims and funds for lower-income schools. But he became better known for his hard-nosed grasp of politics.
But he had an army of volunteers: classmates, friends from the statewide Young Democrats, interns from the U. He and his allies replaced the Prince George's Democratic machine with an organization called the Breakfast Club.
And, last month, he captured the second-most powerful post in the U. He is known as a pragmatist, skilled at navigating the legislative maze and wooing K Street lobbyists. Yet there is another side: The man who quietly fought for Soviet Bloc dissidents. The idealist who keeps a bust of Kennedy in his office.
At 67, Hoyer seems the very image of the Washington political insider, with his starched white shirts and patrician cap of silver hair.
3 job in the party leadership -- to the lower-key David E. As Hoyer fought the political battles, Judy was his sounding board."I felt a responsibility because he was my father," says Hoyer."But I was certainly not enthusiastic." Hoyer got him a small apartment in Washington, where the elderly man lived until his death in 1974. In 1975, he became the youngest Senate president in Maryland history. Then the local congresswoman, Gladys Noon Spellman (D), suffered cardiac arrest, and her seat was vacated.Judy was at his side through the rocky start in college and the Kennedy epiphany. But the young reformer quickly befriended the older senators.She married him at 21, becoming, Hoyer says, "an example and guide." Success, Then Failure Fresh out of Georgetown's law school in 1966, Hoyer launched his campaign for state Senate from Prince George's. When Hoyer arrived in Annapolis, "he was a ball of energy," recalls Sen. "Rather than fight the establishment, he really co-opted it," Cardin says.
With a record as a moderate consensus-builder, he could be key to keeping the party together and coaxing Republicans to cross the aisle.