Endorsements in Districts 44 and 45

August 10, 1994

Decreased population deprived Baltimore City of one Senate seat and four seats in the House of Delegates. An entire district -- Julian L. Lapides' Mount Royal power base -- disappeared. Much of it was merged into a new 44th district, stretching from Pigtown and Poppleton all the way to Washington Hill in East Baltimore, taking in parts of Bolton Hill and Otterbein as well as Mount Vernon and downtown. Even with the upscale neighborhoods, the district is overwhelmingly poor. It also has the lowest voting percentage of any district in Maryland.

It is regrettable that Sen. Larry Young has no viable opposition. Although seniority has increased his power, he is not a sound influence in Annapolis or in his district. Yet in the absence of alternatives, we endorse his re-election.

Among candidates for delegate, voters have real choices. Instead of incumbents Ruth M. Kirk and John D. Jefferies, we urge a strong vote for two promising newcomers, Verna Jones and John E. Hannay. A seasoned housing advocate, Ms. Jones is a serious, issue-oriented candidate. So is Mr. Hannay, an openly gay office-seeker who is campaigning on a broad range of community concerns. Their election would much strengthen currently inadequate representation. For the third seat, we endorse Del. Elijah Cummings, a solid legislator.

Also in the race is Clarence M. Mitchell IV, the latest offspring of that varied civil rights family to seek public office. He has plenty of ambition and rhetorical abilities but his grasp of broad issues is skimpy.

East Baltimore's 45th district has long been a battleground of clannish and feuding organizations. After attempts to forge peace collapsed, two rival tickets formed. The fighting got so serious a last-minute candidate named Clyde A. Stokes filed to foil Councilman Carl Stokes' chances to win a Senate seat.

We prefer the steadier hand of Nathaniel J. McFadden, a former city councilman, for Senate.

In the delegate race, our support goes to Talmadge Branch, who has an impressive resume, and veteran delegates Hattie N. Harrison and Clarence Davis, who have learned how to use the levers of power in the State House to advance the city's -- and their district's -- causes.

Tomorrow: Districts 46 and 47A.

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