It's a wide-open field in District 33 race CAMPAIGN 1994

August 16, 1994|By Dana Hedgpeth | Dana Hedgpeth,Sun Staff Writer

With two of the three incumbents not seeking re-election, District 33 is a wide-open race for the eight Democrats and six Republicans vying for the House of Delegates.

Candidates and election board officials say the retirement of six-term Republican Elizabeth S. Smith and Republican John G. Gary's decision to run for county executive has caused this to be the largest field of candidates in recent years.

The third incumbent, Crofton Democrat Marsha G. Perry, says her 13 competitors are giving her a new election experience.

"In other parts of the state the elections will be over in September, but in this district we have strong candidates on both sides and the race will be hotly contested all the way until the general election," says Mrs. Perry, 57, who broke a GOP monopoly in the district by winning her seat in 1986.

Mrs. Perry, a power skater who coaches the Washington Capitals part time, says she has an outlook that works equally well on the ice and in the state legislature. "I've been chasing 200-pound, 6-foot-3-inch, 21-year-olds around the rink, so if I can do that then I can certainly deal with men in the legislature."

Mrs. Perry says her main priorities are land preservation and conservation and the cleanup of Maryland's streams and rivers, especially the Patuxent. She has co-sponsored legislation to reduce levels of nitrogen and phosphate that pollute local waters. She says she plans to work with environmental groups to reduce toxic wastes.

Other Democrats on the ballot are:

* David G. Boschert of Crownsville, who is leaving his seat on the County Council because voters approved a two-term limit on the job in 1992. The former council chairman says he is focusing his campaign on issues that involve small businesses, including child care, economic development and the environment.

He says he would like to have the state provide tax incentives for small businesses to provide child-care facilities on their premises for employees.

"We need to help small businesses care for their employees by giving them a place that will care for their child while they work, so we can maintain family units and give more of a bonding experience between parents and their children," Mr. Boschert says.

Mr. Boschert says he favors mandatory sentences for criminals and greater use of home detention.

* Mike Canning, 33, a Crofton lawyer, who says he is relying largely on door-to-door contact with voters.

He says a federal crime bill will help provide alternatives to first-time nonviolent criminals, which he believes is a "necessity to help them with their addictions so they don't come in and out of the system."

Mr. Canning, a member of the Crofton Civic Association board of directors, thinks education will help improve the environment. "People have to get off their couches and get out and do something about improving the environment, whether it's planting trees or cleaning up streams."

* Hal Counihan, 51, of Gambrills, who says his 25 years in political science and history have given him "a desire to experience the political process hands-on."

An assistant dean of social sciences at Anne Arundel Community College, Mr. Counihan founded the Center for the Study of Local Issues in 1978.

He says the center's recent research shows that more than 80 percent of county residents have a strong distrust of "career legislators."

Mr. Counihan says his top three issues are crime, education and the environment.

* Patricia A. Huecker, a 51-year-old former school board member and president, who says her background helps her understand the effects programs and regulations may have on students and teachers.

"I know what motivates children and what they need to learn," she says. "I know the importance of programs that work and that are realistic."

Ms. Huecker, who lives in Crofton, says she earned a reputation for doing her homework on issues as a 10-year member of the school board. She wants to reduce the amount of paperwork for teachers and administrators so more time can be spent teaching.

* Sylvia Fielder Jennings, 58, a legislative aide to County Councilwoman Virginia P. Clagett with 10 years' experience in state Democratic committees.

"I have a leg up on the rest of them -- except Mrs. Perry -- on how to develop legislation and then follow it through the process," says Ms. Jennings, who lives in Edgewater. "I have long years of legislative experience of knowing how to work with communities to legislatively develop their concerns in issues that are important to them."

She says she is concerned about crime, overcrowded schools and managing the county's growth.

* Daniel Nataf, a 40-year-old Severna Park resident, who wants to apply the theories of political science he teaches as a professor at University of Baltimore County in the House of Delegates.

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