Democrat shifts his sights from delegate seat to state Senate

February 08, 1994|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Sun Staff Writer

Democratic political activist James M. Kraft has decided to pursue his "initial desire" -- a run for state Senate instead of the House of Delegates seat for which he had geared his campaign for several months.

Mr. Kraft said yesterday he decided to run for the Senate in District 12 -- which includes West Columbia, Elkridge and southwestern Baltimore County -- after Democratic Sen. Nancy L. Murphy recently announced her intention to run for Baltimore County executive rather than seek re-election.

"I feel this Senate district is a good district for me in terms of the people who live there," said Mr. Kraft, an attorney with a private practice in Columbia.

Mr. Kraft, a 20-year Howard County resident and former assistant county public defender, grew up in the Waverly section of Baltimore near Memorial Stadium, a community he says is similar to some Baltimore County neighborhoods in the Senate district.

The Columbia resident and former chairman of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee said when he announced his candidacy for delegate in District 12B last fall that he would reconsider that decision depending on Ms. Murphy's plans.

He said yesterday that he believes he would have more influence as one of 47 senators rather than as one of 141 delegates.

"The Senate is the best place to have a say. You have an opportunity to change the way the system works," he said. "People believe government isn't doing what it should be doing for us on crime, education, the environment. If it isn't doing the job, it affects every one of us."

No candidates have officially filed to run for the District 12 Senate seat. Howard County Republicans David Maier and Christopher Eric Bouchat, both of Elkridge, have announced that they are running.

Mr. Kraft said he hopes the Senate race in District 12 -- which contains a majority of Baltimore County residents, a wide range of income levels and diverse communities -- doesn't become a "parochial" battle.

"You go to Annapolis from a region, but you're there to deal with statewide problems, problems from your community approached from a statewide perspective," he said. "If you go as a parochial candidate, it's a disservice to your district and limits your effectiveness."

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