The 10th District Democratic state senate race pits incumbent Frank Kelly against newcomer Janice Piccinini. Kelly's role as leader of the filibuster last session which prevented reform of the state's antiquated abortion laws demonstrated an unwillingness even to permit a vote on th most significant policy issue to confront the Maryland legislature in recent years. Piccinini's campaign has focused on the issue of choice, but she is also a hard-working candidate with a wider agenda -- from the fiscal struggles of the county to environmental preservation. She is our choice.
Another spirited race is taking place in Baltimore County's 7th District, where five Democrats are seeking three nominations to the House. Incumbent John Arnick, majority leader, has substantial political expertise and deserves support. Incumbent Joseph Minnick has done an admirable enough job on the Judiciary Committee to merit the nomination as well. But incumbent Louis DePazzo has broken away from the political team and antagonized both Governor Schaefer and County Executive Rasmussen, creating potentially hostile political relationships. Our choice is Connie Galiazzo, an intelligent community activist who possesses the political skills and the sense of civic commitment to make her an effective lawmaker.
Campaign tensions also run high in the 6th District Democratic House race because the candidacy of incumbent Terry Connelly is tainted by ethical problems. Leslie Hutchinson, a former president of the Young Democrats, seems to have a grasp of the problems the district faces and could make a positive contribution in Annapolis. Along with Hutchinson, we support incumbents Michael Weir and Farrell Maddox.
In the 5th District, which includes Carroll and Baltimore counties, Republican incumbent Sen. Sharon Hornberger has a tough fight against Larry Haines. Hornberger, who has played a critical role in healing the divisiveness and fiscal problems in the state GOP, is the better choice.
In the city's 40th District, Sen. Troy Brailey has served constituents well through a distinguished career, but the time has come for his retirement. For that seat we favor Del. Ralph Hughes, who led efforts to pass Maryland's landmark 1988 gun control law.
In the 41st District Democratic primary, Senate Majority Leader Clarence Blount is facing a brisk challenge from the Rev. Wendell Phillips, a former delegate. Blount is a key figure in the city delegation and has the support of both the governor and the mayor. Blount plays an important role in making sure city interests get a fair hearing in Annapolis, and for the most part, he is successful. Since there is no Republican candidate for the seat, the primary amounts to election -- and Blount deserves it.
The 42nd District Democratic primary features a crowded race for three delegate nominations. Incumbents Sandy Rosenberg and James W. Campbell merit another term. For the third slot, we prefer Delores G. Kelley, a community activist and communications specialist at Coppin, over incumbent David B. Shapiro. Shapiro has not had a strong record in constituent work, and his votes generally do not represent the district overall.
In the 43rd District, Sen. John Pica is facing a spirited challenge from Martin O'Malley. Pica has had a poor attendance record and has done little to distinguish himself on important issues. Although O'Malley has been portrayed as an ardent opponent of abortion rights, he in fact says he would favor no restrictions on abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy and he "would not be a pro-life filibuster vote." O'Malley would bring a fresh perspective and energy to a seat that needs it.