Cassella seeks seat as District 5 delegate CARROLL COUNTY ELECTION 1994

June 29, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

Westminster Republican Thomas J. Cassella said he is running for a District 5 delegate seat because he wants to help overhaul the criminal justice system.

Mr. Cassella, 31, is a Baltimore city police officer who works as a desk sergeant at the women's detention center. He said he has worked for the department for about 10 years.

This is his first try for elected office. He is a New York native and has lived in Carroll County for three years.

"It's time to do something," he said.

He is one of four Democrats and seven Republicans running for three District 5 delegate seats. The primary is Sept. 13.

Mr. Cassella said his campaign will focus on issues concerning crime, including:

* Require all judges to be elected every two years.

* Eliminate the parole and probation system.

* Make truth-in-sentencing laws mandatory. He said he wants all parties involved in the sentencing process so that they know a criminal's background and how much jail time he would serve if eligible for parole.

* Pass an amendment to the state constitution to guarantee victims' rights.

* Eliminate the juvenile court system for youths over age 13 who are charged with felonies.

Mr. Cassella said he supports forming a county police force to replace the Maryland State Police resident trooper program in Carroll. He said the Sheriff's Department could become the county police department.

He supports term limits for all elected officials except the sheriff, if he becomes the county's chief law-enforcement official. Officials should be limited to two terms, he said.

He said he is accepting campaign contributions only from individuals, not from political organizations or businesses, and has put a $10 limit on individual contributions.

Mr. Cassella received a bachelor's degree in political science from Loyola College in Baltimore in 1984 and a master's degree in liberal studies from Towson State University in 1990.

Mr. Cassella is a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Taneytown and has coached Babe Ruth baseball in Westminster for the past two years.

He has been married to Constance Cassella for five years. They have two children -- Anna, 3, and Thomas III, 1 1/2 .

Other candidates announced for the District 5 delegate race are:

* Democrats -- Philip R. Deitchman of Eldersburg, incumbent Del. Richard N. Dixon, Eric R. Hirtle and Ellen L. Willis, all of Westminster.

* Republicans -- W. David Blair of Manchester, Joseph H. Mettle of Eldersburg, incumbent Del. Richard C. Matthews of Hampstead and Nancy R. Stocksdale, Jerry L. Toadvine and Francis X. Walsh, all of Westminster.

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