Endorsing in Council Districts 1, 2

August 22, 1994

The number of qualified candidates running for election to the Anne Arundel County Council is pathetic, starting in Districts 1 and 2. Four years ago, District 2, which includes Glen Burnie, Severn and Old Mill, was crowded with seven candidates. This year the field for each party consists of a grand total of one. The options in District 1 -- Linthicum, Ferndale and Brooklyn Park -- are only slightly better. Republican Frank G. Phelps Jr. is unopposed in the primary, while incumbent Democrat George F. Bachman faces two challengers.

Democrats in District 1 shouldn't think twice before re-nominating Mr. Bachman in his try for a final term. William R. Huggins, county sheriff for 28 years is a good 'ole boy from Brooklyn Park who left the office a mess. He has no real quarrel with Mr. Bachman, but says he wanted to run for something because he's "tired of loafing." The second challenger, Charles E. Beatty, a part-time librarian at the Baltimore City detention center, has no agenda.

Mr. Bachman, 73, was elected in 1964 to the first County Council. He served for 18 years, ran unsuccessfully for county executive in 1982 and returned to his council seat in 1990. Since then he has worked to secure funding for North County High, Andover Middle and Park Elementary. He took a balanced stand on light rail when others in North County clamored for barbed wire at the city-county line. And he reflected his district's wishes by fighting the proposed jail on New Ordnance Road.

Mr. Bachman is inarticulate, always sides with the unions and hasn't sponsored any innovative legislation. But he is strong on constituent service and knows government. His health appeared be an issue -- he just had a sextuple heart bypass operation -- but he is recovering quickly and says he is ready to complete his political career.

In District 2, Democrat James E. "Ed" DeGrange, a Glen Burnie businessman, was drafted by Sen. Michael J. Wagner to oppose Councilman Ed Middlebrooks; Mr. Middlebrooks switched parties and filed to run against Mr. Wagner. Mr. DeGrange has no primary opposition. Neither does Republican Arthur C. Emge, a Harundale civic activist.

4( Tomorrow: County Council District 3.

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