Republican James Cooper, undaunted by his 7,000-vote loss to state Sen.
William H. Amoss in 1986, is back to challenge the two-term Democratic incumbent for the District 35 state senate seat Tuesday.
Cooper, of Belcamp, said he thinks he has a better shot at winning in Tuesday's general election because he now has greater name recognition and he has campaigned more heavily than he did four years ago.
The candidate, 46, works as a quality assurance engineer at Westinghouse Electric Corp. in Hunt Valley, Baltimore County.
Cooper said he thinks his campaign will be helped by the growing anti-incumbent sentiment this year.
If elected, Cooper said he would push for a two-term limit for members of the state Legislature.
Amoss, 53, of Joppa, owns an auction company. He was elected to the District 35 senate seat in 1982 after serving eight years as a member of the state House of Delegates. He received 12,018 votes votes in the 1986 election. Cooper's took 5,481.
Cooper said he believes concerns over state spending is the top issue in the minds of most county voters. And as a member of the budget and tax committee, Amoss has not helped Harford County, Cooper said.
Amoss agreed that state spending is a major concern among voters. But he said the state is pulled in two directions over the need to balance the budget and the need to fund necessary programs like education.
As a member of the budget and taxation committee, Amoss said he will list programs in priority and then trim unnecessary expenses from the budget.
But some programs, such as the prison system and education, are necessary, Amoss said. To compensate, the state has to take measures like setting a hiring freeze, he said.
The state set the hiring freeze because the increase in revenues were lower than expected this year, Amoss said. The state estimated revenues to increase by 8 percent, but revenues only increased by 6 percent.
In the county's other state Senate race, outgoing County Executive Habern W. Freeman is unopposed in his bid for the District 34 seat.