Sportsmen endorse 5 incumbents CAMPAIGN 1994

September 01, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

The Carroll County Sportsmen's Association has endorsed incumbents in five local races, but will not make recommendations in the county commissioner race.

Association members are unhappy that the current board of commissioners has not pushed to build a county shooting range and preserve farmland, past president Steve Scherer said yesterday.

"There's just been no results in four years," he said. "Our endorsements are based on past performance." The group endorsed candidates "who reflect our conservative views," association President C. D. "Hap" Baker Jr. said.

The association represents hunters and fishermen and has about 1,300 members in 13 clubs.

Members have been working for almost 10 years to try to find a location for an outdoor shooting range. The county commissioners have said they are willing to build a range, but have not been able to find a location neighbors don't oppose.

The county Recreation and Parks Board has recommended the county spend about $300,000 to build an indoor range that would muffle noise from the guns. The commissioners will consider the request this fall during budget meetings. A location has not been found.

Mr. Scherer said members also were disappointed that Commissioner Donald I. Dell supports an extension of Interstate 795.

"Mr. Dell's slogan was "Keep it Country' " in the 1990 race, Mr. Scherer said.

A highway extension from Reisterstown past Westminster would require hundreds of acres of land and attract more growth. Mr. Dell has said the plan would ease traffic jams and focus industrial growth in the Finksburg area while preserving land in other areas.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy first said he supported the idea, but later said he didn't.

The sportsmen did not want to endorse Mr. Dell, a Republican, or Mr. Lippy, a Democrat, and did not feel comfortable endorsing challengers because they do not have a record, Mr. Scherer said. The third incumbent, Commissioner Julia W. Gouge, is a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.

In addition to endorsements, the association yesterday released ratings for candidates based on their answers to written questionnaires. Most candidates for commissioner, state's attorney, sheriff, state Senate and House scored well.

"The whole crop of candidates was very attuned to our needs," Mr. Scherer said. "We were surprised."

The sportsmen asked candidates their opinions on issues including the right to own guns, improving the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay, recycling, returning spiritual and moral values to education, and the use of public lands for hunting.

The association asked candidates to answer seven questions with "agree," "disagree" or "undecided" and then rated the answers on a scale of "excellent" to "poor." An excellent rating meant a candidate did not disagree with the sportsmen on any issue. No one was rated "poor."

Four association members wrote the questionnaires and tallied the results, Mr. Scherer said. Committee members were Mr. Baker, Mr. Scherer, Bradley Vosburgh and Steven Weidman.

All candidates who were endorsed received "excellent" ratings. These are endorsements in five local races:

* State's Attorney -- Republican Thomas E. Hickman. His opponent in the primary, Jerry F. Barnes, also was rated %J excellent. Democrat Linda A. Holmes did not reply to the questionnaire.

* Sheriff -- Republican John H. Brown. He is unopposed in the primary. Democrat Kenneth L. Tregoning was rated excellent.

* District 4B Delegate -- Republican Donald B. Elliott. He is unopposed in the primary. Democrat Roy S. Pfeiffer was rated excellent.

* District 5 Senate -- Republican Larry E. Haines. He has no primary opponent. Two Democrats are running -- Cynthia Huggins Cummings and Rachelle Feldman-Hurwitz. Neither replied.

* District 5 House -- Democrat Richard N. Dixon. Three other Democrats and eight Republicans are running for three House seats.

Two others were rated excellent -- Republican W. David Blair and Joseph H. Mettle; five were rated good -- Democrat Eric R. Hirtle and Republicans Thomas J. Cassella, Stephen R. Chapin Sr., Jerry L. Toadvine and Francis X. Walsh.

Republican Joseph M. Getty was rated "fair." Three candidates HTC did not reply to the questionnaire -- Democrats Philip R. Deitchman and Ellen L. Willis and Republican Nancy R. Stocksdale.

The sportsmen did not make an endorsement in the District 4 Senate race, but rated both candidates -- Democrat George Litrell and Republican Timothy R. Ferguson -- excellent.

In the commissioner race, six candidates were rated "excellent" -- Democrats David A. Grand and Rebecca A. Orenstein, and Republicans W. Benjamin Brown, David Duree, Charles L. Stull and Richard T. Yates.

One was rated "very good" -- Democrat Cornelius M. "Neil" Ridgely. Three were rated "good" -- Mr. Dell, Mr. Lippy and Democrat Grover N. "Sam" Sensabaugh.

The sportsmen also endorsed Republican Ellen R. Sauerbrey and Democrat American Joe Miedusiewski in the primaries for governor, Republican Ronald Frank for U.S. Senate and Republican Roscoe G. Bartlett for Sixth District U.S. Representative.

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