Campaign advertising is not high among James D. Morgan's priorities.
The 35-year-old Republican candidate for the state House of Delegates from District 13-A has received less than $300 in campaign contributions this year.
"I don't believe in killing a lot of trees," he said. "Voters don't care whether you spend a lot of money or not. The Democrats will primarily vote for Democrats and the Republicans will pretty much vote for Republicans.
The key to winning is getting Republican voters to come out and vote."
His opponent, incumbent Delegate Virginia M. Thomas, D-Howard, had received $23,585 as of last week -- $14,483 of which has been used for campaigning. Thomas, who has served two consecutive terms in office, acknowledges that there is a growing "anti-incumbent" attitude this election, but doesn't believe her contributions are excessive.
"I have an excellent track record in getting legislation passed and/or defeated," said Thomas.
The 13-A district comprises east Columbia.
Thomas, a former social worker, favors abortion rights.
She hopes to continue her focus on environmental and health matters. A sponsor of several statewide recycling bills, she would like to see even more environmental programs, and is not satisfied with the state's 20 percent recycling requirement.
"I will seek additional bills to see that we recycle on an even higher level. I'm also looking for more partnership projects between businesses, government and citizens."
She has been active in legislation and budgeting for the Winter Growth adult day care center in Columbia and the county's Adaptive Living program for young retarded citizens.
"Long-term, quality health care needs are a must, ranging from infants to the elderly," said Thomas.
Morgan, a computer programmer for the Bell-Atlantic Co. in Beltsville, feels that a "new, argumentative voice" is needed in the state assembly and is weary of the current rate of spending.
"The state has gone from a surplus to a deficit situation," said Morgan.
The amount of money we have pumped into Baltimore for better schools, roads, etc. should be audited. Why does the Baltimore area get the lion's share of our taxes? I'd like to see more money geared toward projects in Howard County."
On the abortion issue, Morgan favors a referendum that would let voters decide. But if a bill were put before legislators, he would oppose abortion except in cases of rape and incest.
"My moral position shouldn't stand in the way of the people's rights in such a controversial matter," he added. "It's their lives and economic situations that are at stake."
"The General Assembly spent so much time on the issue of abortion that it took notice away from an even bigger problem -- the state budget," he added.
Thomas also agrees that a balanced budget is very important. She feels the current budget legislation has done a successful job with funding school and road construction.
She doesn't foresee changes in school funding until legislators review a report due in December by a government-appointed commission that is studying Maryland taxes.
Morgan said the December filing is a lucky break for the Democrats.
"Higher taxes will be coming down the pike to pay for all these programs the Democrats are seeking."