Agee, ex-Lighthizer aide, announces he'll enter race for county executive

June 07, 1994|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Sun Staff Writer

An aide to former County Executive O. James Lighthizer has joined the hunt for the county's top elective post, setting the table for a political primary that one Democratic official predicted will be a "blood bath."

Robert Agee, known as a trouble shooter in the Lighthizer administration, said yesterday that he intends to run for the Democratic nomination for county executive.

Mr. Agee, 45, of Crofton said he has appointed a finance rTC committee and expects to hold a $100-a-ticket fund-raiser on June 21.

He could face state Del. Theodore J. Sophocleus, who announced his intentions last week, in the September primary.

Mr. Sophocleus, a Linthicum pharmacist, narrowly lost to County Executive Robert R. Neall in 1990 and is considered the front-runner.

l Mr. Sophocleus already has the support of other party officials, such as state Sens. Michael J. Wagner of Ferndale and Philip C. Jimeno of Brooklyn Park. However, Mr. Wagner said Mr. Agee is widely recognized as qualified and would have had their support had Mr. Sophocleus not entered the race.

"I like Bob. He has real brains and talent for county government," said Mr. Wagner.

A primary battle between the two men, who met to discuss their candidacies two weeks ago, could become expensive, softening the Democrats up before they face a Republican candidate in the general election, Mr. Wagner said.

"I don't think Bob and Ted can run against each other," Mr. Wagner said before either man entered the race. "It just doesn't make sense."

Neither candidate has filed with the county election board to place his name on the primary ballot. The deadline to do so is July 5. Candidates can withdraw their names until July 15.

Only Cpl. Larry Walker, a county police officer and Annapolis resident, has filed with the election board. William Brill, a former County Council member from Annapolis, also has said he is running.

H. Erle Schafer, a former Glen Burnie senator and clerk of the Circuit Court, is expected to formally announce his campaign for executive today.

Since the Lighthizer administration left office in 1990, Mr. Agee has worked as vice president of Chaney Enterprises, a gravel and concrete company based in Southern Maryland.

He also chaired the charter review commission appointed by the County Council.

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