Endorsements in Districts 9A and 9B

August 17, 1994

An ironic upshot of the latest redrawing of Maryland's legislative lines was the creation of a Towson fiefdom for Del. Gerry Brewster, a politician with close ties to the controllers of the redistricting crayon. As an extra fillip, the new district was dubbed 9B -- B as in Brewster. But here's the twist: Mr. Brewster won't even be seeking re-election in his custom-made bailiwick. He has shifted his sights to the open 2nd Congressional District seat.

Of course, where there's a 9B, a 9A must be nearby. In this case, it's a vast section of the north county stretching from Lutherville up to Pennsylvania. Two 9A candidates will be elected to the House of Delegates this November. A pair of Democrats face no opposition in the House primary that will be decided Sept. 13 -- Raymond A. Huber, a former employee of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and American Lung Association lobbyist Shelley Buckingham. Of the five Republicans in the race, experienced incumbents A. Wade Kach and Martha S. Klima are The Sun's choices.

Down in 9B, which will be represented by one delegate, a competitive Democratic primary pits veteran community worker and former House staffer Carol A. Allen against Towson lawyer and county planning board member Stephen W. Lafferty. Either would be a good nominee. Yet we believe that Mr. Lafferty's particular combination of government and civic experience gives him the edge.

On the Republican side of the 9B race, D. Jayson Kim has already declared himself the winner. Not quite. Voters should shun Mr. Kim and instead focus on the other hopefuls in the crowded GOP contest. From our view, the three most viable candidates are Brightwood Retirement Community director James C. "Chip" DiPaula Jr., former Helen Bentley aide Thomas K. O'Neill and Towson banker James M. Kelly. Mr. DiPaula is running an assertive campaign that has earned him high marks from party regulars. He gets our endorsement.

Only one candidate from each party will vie for the 9th District senatorial seat. Incumbent Republican F. Vernon Boozer and Democratic challenger John C. Head will run unopposed in the primary and then square off in November.

Tomorrow: Legislative Districts 11 and 12A.

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