Anderson announces her retirement from House of Delegates

June 22, 1994|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Sun Staff Writer

Del. Elizabeth Smith Anderson, a five-term legislator and one of the first two women in Anne Arundel County to be elected to the House of Delegates, says she won't seek re-election.

"I'm calling to announce my retirement," is how Mrs. Anderson, a Republican, broke the news to reporters.

"I'm 60 years old, and I'm completing 20 years this year. I want to spend more time with my husband -- it's my favorite thing to do," said Mrs. Anderson, who has been married for 14 years to former Anne Arundel County school Superintendent Edward Anderson.

Mrs. Anderson's announcement opens up a second seat for the House of Delegates in District 33, which includes Odenton, Severna Park and much of South County. Del. John Gary has already announced plans to run for county executive.

Helen Fister, chairwoman of the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee, said Mrs. Anderson, a top vote-getter each year, could easily have won re-election to the House, or the state Senate seat if Senate Minority Leader John A. Cade had given it up.

"Everything has happened in the last two or three days," Mrs. Fister said. "Senator Cade announced Monday he would be running again for his seat in the Senate. I think it probably was a factor in her decision."

Mr. Cade had been among the candidates being considered to serve as lieutenant governor on Rep. Helen Delich Bentley's gubernatorial ticket.

"It was tempting to run again because Jack Cade's seat was open, and at one point he told me the seat was mine to run for if I wanted to," Mrs. Anderson said. "But even before he decided to run again, I decided to retire. The last 20 years have just been so wonderful, I just felt it was time."

Before running for office in 1974, Mrs. Anderson had been a part-owner of a chain of radio stations, including WNAV, and a part owner of Colonial Cablevision, now known as Jones Intercable -- interests she sold in the early 1980s.

Best known for her devotion to her constituents, Mrs. Anderson also worked to pass legislation for the developmentally disabled, the marine industry and animal rights.

Her first committee assignment was on the House Economic Matters Committee, where she served for eight years. In 1978, she was appointed to the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review Committee. For the past 12 years she also has served on the House Ways and Means Committee, where she first met Tyras S. Athey, a former state delegate who now is secretary of state.

Mrs. Anderson also had a reputation for rarely, if ever, missing a vote, he said.

"Her attendance record for votes was a lot better than most legislators," Mr. Athey said. "Her constituents will miss her. I guess she figured it was time to stop and smell the roses."

Democrat candidates who have already announced in District 33 are David Boschert, Mike Canning, Hal Counihan, Sylvia Jennings, Dan Nataf and Marsha Perry. Republican candidates for District 33 include David Almy, Ingvard "Ed" Bach, Robert Baldwin and Janet Greenip.

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