Elliott for delegate in district 4B

October 25, 1994

Carroll County delegates have rarely been powerful players in the Maryland House of Delegates. District 4B is a good illustration of the political baggage they bring to the job and high hurdles they must overcome to get their legislation approved.

The House of Delegates is controlled by the Democrats by a rather large majority, and it is likely to remain that way even though Republicans on the national level will do well this year. For a county such as Carroll that consistently elects Republicans, this means individual delegates operate with a substantial handicap. To be effective, members of the minority have to carve out niches of expertise. Over time, they can increase their power by becoming reliable and honest sources for information on legislation.

For the past two terms, Donald B. Elliott has represented District 4B, which encompasses election districts in Carroll and Frederick counties. A Republican, Mr. Elliott has been one of the many backbenchers who don't play prominent roles in the legislative process but, on occasion, successfully navigate a bill through the legislative shoals.

As a result of a Carroll case in which a child was mistakenly thought by authorities to be an abuse victim, Mr. Elliott labored for three years to change the state's method for recording child abuse. Parents accused of child abuse now have the opportunity to review social service records and contest them at an administrative hearing.

A small-town pharmacist, Mr. Elliott has used the General Assembly to introduce a number of measures prohibiting large drug manufacturers from giving discounts to volume buyers of prescription drugs, such as hospitals and health maintenance organizations. If passed, one of the major beneficiaries would be the small pharmacies, such as the one Mr. Elliott owns in Union Bridge.

Our concern about such self-serving initiatives aside, the Democrat in this race, Roy Pfeiffer, is a self-employed house restorer who has not mounted a convincing campaign. Given his handicaps as a Republican member of a small delegation, Mr. Elliott has done an acceptable job representing his constituents and deserves to be returned to office.

1% Tomorrow: District 4-State Senate

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