Often the shortcomings of politicians aren't obvious until after they are victorious and have settled snugly into their seats of power. That's when frustrated voters wish they had known more about the candidates before wasting ballots on them.
Baltimore County voters in Towson and Dundalk can save themselves from such second-guessing by spurning two contenders in next Tuesday's primary election: D. Jayson Kim, a Republican in the 9B House of Delegates race, and Louis L. DePazzo, a Democrat seeking the 7th Councilmanic District seat.
In recent months, both men have been involved in separate controversies. However, the shameful consequences have been similar for the two candidates.
Mr. Kim's indiscretions include his phony claims of being a graduate and a medical student of Johns Hopkins University. Also, it was reported last week that the 21-year-old was kicked out of Hopkins a year ago for submitting fraudulent grade-change forms for five academic courses.
Running in a crowded field, pushing a crowd-pleasing screed against crime and airing slickly-produced TV ads, Mr. Kim is taken very seriously by nervous party officials. Towson Republicans should not fall for Mr. Kim's false front. Their ballots would be much better cast for James C. DiPaula in the GOP primary.
While Jay Kim has been trying to outrun reality, Lou DePazzo has done more than his share to stimulate the east county's hysteria over the Moving to Opportunity housing program. Mr. DePazzo hasn't been the only Eastside pol to make hay from appeals to the worst instincts of concerned local citizens, but he has made himself conspicuous with his ugly public utterances about MTO.
This is the sort of "action" that makes Mr. DePazzo a hero in Dundalk. It also helps him hide the fact that he has been a dud as a legislator in Annapolis. Odds are he would be just as ineffective on the County Council, grabbing headlines and disrupting council business with his trademark pugnacious comments. Is that what Dundalk needs?
Fortunately for the district, there is a worthy alternative to Mr. DePazzo in his lone opponent, Jean Jung. Ms. Jung has a long record of the type of government experience that would serve a council member well. This race is particularly important because no Republicans are running; whoever wins the Democratic primary gains the seat on the council. Jean Jung is clearly the better choice.