Delegate races in the 8th have 2 parties scrambling CAMPAIGN 1994

September 06, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

The political tug of war between Democrats trying to regain PTC ground lost in 1990 and Republicans trying to expand their foothold in Baltimore County is nowhere more intense than in the new 8th Legislative District.

Five candidates from each party are vying for three House of Delegates seats in a district that covers Perry Hall, Parkville, Carney, Long Green Valley and a tiny corner of northeastern Baltimore.

The incumbents are Republicans James F. Ports Jr. and Alfred W. Redmer Jr., each finishing his first term after winning an upset victory in the voter revolt of 1990.

This year, in a redrawn district with more urban Democrats and fewer Republicans, they have teamed up with neighboring Loch Raven-area Del. John J. Bishop, who is running for the state Senate. To complete their ticket, they have included newcomer Calvin Clemons, 51, of White Marsh, who manages trade shows and lost a 1982 race against former County Executive Dale Anderson.

Mr. Ports said the redistricting "was obviously meant to hurt us." Despite the unfamiliar territory, Mr. Ports said, he is pleased with the campaign. Mr. Bishop is well known in the newer precincts, and he and Mr. Redmer work the older areas.

"We're out there, and we're working hard," he said. "Bishop knows everybody in Hillendale. We're hopeful. The feedback is good.

Competing against that team are two other Republicans, D. Sharon Morris, 52, of Parkville and Joseph C. Boteler III, 45, of Carney. Ms. Morris is a drug and alcohol counselor for the state, running a limited, first-time campaign with "zero money" but with the help of her five children and extended family.

Mr. Boteler, the father of four and a printing company salesman, said a visit last year to his youngest child's first-grade class helped propel him into politics.

A conservative Republican, he said he was upset when he saw that a book he had idly picked up in the classroom described homosexual "families" as "OK."

He said the book may be OK for older children, but not for first-graders. He said he wants to reverse government policies that have "helped break down families."

Although there are no full tickets among the Democrats, Daniel E. McKew, 37, of Glen Arm has allied himself with incumbent Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, the county's Senate delegation chairman.

A Signet Bank vice president, Mr. McKew ran alone in 1990 but lost. He was so eager to run again, he said, that he moved and changed jobs to make a second attempt easier. "Look at the way politicians are viewed," he said. "We've got to do better."

John G. Disney, 59, a lawyer who served for 10 years on the county planning board and four more on the Board of Appeals, is the best known of the four other Democrats.

This is his third try for elective office, and he said redistricting may have helped him by putting his Manns Avenue home squarely within the 8th District instead of on the edge of the old 9th, where he ran before.

Katherine Klausmeier, 44, of Perry Hall, a longtime school activist and part-time St. Joseph's hospital worker who organizes programs for child patients, is making her first run for office.

She said she became interested in politics through PTA work and as a member of the county's Commission for Women. She has translated her connections and that interest into an $18,000 campaign fund that she hopes will reach $30,000, she said.

"I'm getting great reactions. I'm doing real well," she said.

Rounding out the Democratic field are two other Perry Hall residents, David A. Lessner, 31, who helps manage a Baltimore nightclub, and Charles Patrick Kazlo, 54, a 25-year state licensing employee.

Mr. Lessner said he began working in campaigns at age 10, when he helped Harold Long in an unsuccessful 1974 bid for the House.

"Politics has always fascinated me," he said. "I've grown tired of people doing what's politically expedient; we've lost our long-term vision." Crime is not being addressed strongly enough, he said.

Mr. Kazlo, an accountant and father of two grown daughters, is making his first run for public office. He said his experience in helping draft legislation, looking into fraud allegations and private financial planning would be put to good use as the state faces a projected $1 billion deficit over the next four years.

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