Endorsing in Legislative District 47B

August 12, 1994

The House of Delegates primary races for district 47B in southwest Baltimore County feature a not-so-grand total of three candidates.

On the Democratic side, first-term incumbent Thomas E. Dewberry of Catonsville has just one challenger, Woodlawn tavern owner John K. "Jack" Milani. Only one Republican, food service specialist Steve Cumby of Catonsville, has filed. He will run unopposed in the primary and represent the GOP in the November election.

Mr. Milani is an owner of Monaghan's Pub in Woodlawn and an official of Baltimore County's Licensed Beverage Association. He also known in the community through his involvement in the Woodlawn Recreation and Parks Council and the Catonsville Celebrations Committee.

It was in his capacity as tavern owner that Mr. Milani had a scrape with the law two years ago, when undercover police spotted Monaghan's customers receiving illegal payoffs from video gambling. Last year in the county's District Court, Mr. Milani was given probation before judgment and hit with a $450 )) fine.

Even if Mr. Milani did not bear this mark, The Sun's choice in the Democratic race would be Mr. Dewberry. In just his first four years in Annapolis, he has earned a reputation as a solid, reliable and accessible legislator, not unlike his father, Frederick L. Dewberry, who distinguished himself during his service at the State House and in Towson. No doubt the younger Dewberry's presence in the race has something to do with the dearth of contestants in 47B.

"I can't say enough good things about him. He does a really good job and is really thorough and conscientious," says one of ** Tom Dewberry's Baltimore County colleagues in the House of Delegates. A Republican colleague, at that. Democrats echo those sentiments.

Mr. Dewberry likewise deserves credit for his support of Baltimore City and the concept of cooperative problem-solving by all the jurisdictions in the region. Yet some observers, though admiring, have leveled the criticism that Mr. Dewberry needs to assert himself more as a leader of the county delegation. He has the ability and the respect of his colleagues to fulfill a guiding role. We hope he will be up to that challenge in the coming term.

Monday: Legislative districts 6 and 7.

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