Councilman Boschert enters race for District 33 delegate seat

April 24, 1994|By John A. Morris and John Rivera | John A. Morris and John Rivera,Staff Writers

Prevented from seeking re-election to the County Council by term limits, David Boschert has set his sights on a seat in the Maryland House of Delegates.

The Crownsville resident, one of three lawmakers leaving the council because of a two-term limit approved by voters in 1992, formally launched his campaign for one of three District 33 delegate seats Thursday.

Mr. Boschert, who was council chairman in 1992 and 1993, said (( Friday that he believes term limitations are "healthy."

"If an elected official stays in office too long, he becomes stagnant," he said.

Even though there is no limit on the number of four-year terms a delegate can serve, Mr. Boschert said he would limit himself voluntarily to "three terms minimum, four maximum."

Mr. Boschert could face a crowded field of candidates in September's Democratic primary. Among the other Democrats who have filed or announced are Hal Counihan of Gambrills and Alvin Tilghman of Severn. Incumbent Marsha Perry is expected to seek re-election.

Among the Republicans vying for the GOP nomination are David Almy of Crownsville, Ingvard Bach of Severna Park, Robert C. Baldwin of Crownsville and Janet Greenip of Crofton. Incumbent Elizabeth S. Smith-Anderson also could seek re-election.

The GOP traditionally has dominated District 33, holding the Senate seat and at least two of the delegate seats since the district was created in 1974. However, Mr. Boschert may have an advantage over the other delegate candidates because District 33 includes most of his constituents as a councilman. Both districts stretch from Odenton to Severna Park, though the slightly larger legislative district also includes portions of South County.

Mr. Boschert gives himself high marks for bringing home a host of projects over the past 10 years as a councilman, including renovations to the Odenton Library and construction of the Western District Police Station. And he touts his roles in creating a $12 million "rainy day" emergency fund and getting the county's proposed new jail located in Glen Burnie.

In the past, West County community leaders have criticized Mr. Boschert for pandering to developers and fence-sitting on controversial issues, fearing that he might offend some constituents. However, yesterday, Mr. Boschert was described as a man who had matured in office.

"I think he finally awakened to the fact that [that behavior] doesn't sit well with people," said Alfred A. Shehab, a West County activist. "He has to take a stand one way or the other."

Ray Smallwood, president of the Maryland Civic Association, still thinks Mr. Boschert "tries to appease too many people."

But in recent years, Mr. Smallwood noted, he has become the key, and therefore influential, fourth vote on the seven-member council.

"You have to give him credit for that," Mr. Smallwood said.

Four years ago, Mr. Boschert alienated many civic leaders because of his support for developer Warren Halle's plans to develop the Odenton town center. However, he has since fought alongside civic groups against Mr. Halle's proposed Chesapeake Terrace rubble landfill.

"Everyone thought he was in bed with Halle, and he wasn't," Mr. Smallwood said. "Or if he was, he got kicked out real quick."

The owner of an Annapolis liquor store and a former public relations specialist for a bank, Mr. Boschert, 46, said he had considered running for clerk of the court, state Senate and county executive before deciding to run for the state legislature's lower house. He said he was aided by a public opinion poll of 700 residents conducted by Potomac Research last fall.

"The poll found that my strength was in legislative affairs," said Mr. Boschert. "There was some strength there [to run for county executive] but I feel 10 years in county government is enough."

A lack of voter appeal and name recognition may have been another reason he steered clear of countywide office, said a ranking Democratic official.

"The whole council has had a shaky four years," said Sen. Michael J. Wagner, a Ferndale Democrat. "There has been no leadership from that group. The only thing they have been good at has been criticizing each other."

This is not Mr. Boschert's first bid for state office. After hearing zoning cases for four years as a member of the county Board of Appeals, Mr. Boschert finished fifth in a 1982 race for House of Delegates.

He was appointed to the council in 1984 after the death of Councilman Wallace R. "Chunky" Childs and was elected to four-year terms in 1986 and 1990.

Councilwomen Maureen Lamb, an Annapolis Democrat, and (P Virginia P. Clagett, a West River Democrat, also are being forced out by term limits.

Ms. Clagett is expected to run for the House of Delegates in District 30.

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