District 34 represents the heart of Harford County's population and growth centers, the only legislative district that lies solely within the county boundaries. All three Harford municipalities are included in this southern third of the county that makes up the 34th.
Six Democrats and four Republicans are vying for three delegate slots on the November general election ballot, fewer contenders than in 1990 despite the departure of incumbent Republican Del. David R. Craig, who is running for the Senate this year.
The other two incumbents, Democrats Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack and Mary Louise Preis, are seeking second four-year terms. They deserve renomination.
Dr. Bonsack, member of a noted Harford County political family, has been active in important health care issues and is the only medical doctor in the current General Assembly, providing a valuable perspective. She's also served two years as county delegation chairwoman.
Ms. Preis, a lawyer, has concentrated on family and children issues and on tougher anti-crime bills. She has also worked successfully for state economic development grants for Harford.
For the third Democratic slot, we favor B. Daniel Riley, a middle school teacher and a dedicated community activist. His intense involvement in local environmental issues, and the founding of a successful community action group in Edgewood, recommend him for nomination.
On the Republican side of the ballot, lawyer L. Michael Schaech, former real estate agent and businesswoman Nancy Jacobs, and computer engineer Scott Williams would be good choices.
Mr. Williams supports tighter fiscal management of state government and tougher law enforcement. Strengthening environmental protection and improving education are two priorities for Mr. Schaech. Mrs. Jacobs has actively lobbied the General Assembly on behalf of conservative and women's issues. She is an avowed fiscal conservative.
Sen. Habern W. Freeman, the Democratic incumbent seeking a second term, is unopposed in the primary. Mr. Craig is likewise unopposed for the Republican nomination. They will face each other in the general election.
Tomorrow: Legislative District 35A.