Democrats have long enjoyed a monopoly on elected offices in Baltimore. Few Republicans have bothered to challenge. But this one-party stranglehold is slowly loosening. Republican voter registration is growing faster than the Democrats; the quality of candidates is improving. Still, most GOP candidates lack resources and their quests have kamikaze-like qualities.
Among this year's Republican candidates, two stand out: J. Gary Lee, who is running for the state Senate from the new city-county 42nd District, and Edward J. Eagan, who is hoping to stage an upset in West Baltimore's 41st District.
With a limited campaign chest and weak campaign, Mr. Lee has little chance to unseat the popular Democratic Sen. Barbara Hoffman. She deserves re-election along with incumbent delegates James W. Campbell, Maggie McIntosh and S.I. Sandy Rosenberg. Yet we hope Republican candidates of Mr. Lee's caliber will make themselves available in next year's municipal elections.
The chances of Mr. Eagan, a professional fund-raiser, are a little more encouraging. We endorse him in the 41st against Nathaniel T. Oaks, a former delegate who lost his seat in 1988 after stealing campaign funds. Mr. Eagan links "higher crime, loss of hope and self-esteem to workers, increased demands on city services and a shrinking tax base" to the city's having lost 40,000 jobs between 1990 and 1992. In addition to Mr. Eagan, we endorse Delegates Frank Boston and Margaret Murphy and long-time incumbent Clarence Blount for Senate in the 41st.
Our other endorsements: 40th District, Ralph Hughes (Senate) and Pete Rawlings, Tony Fulton and Salima Marriott (House);
43rd, John Pica Jr. (Senate) and Ann Marie Doory, Ken Montague and Gerald Curran (House); 44th, Larry Young (Senate) and Elijah Cummings, Ruth Kirk and Clarence Mitchell IV (House); 45th, Nathaniel McFadden (Senate) and Talmadge Branch, Clarence Davis and Hattie Harrison (House); 46th, Perry Sfikas (Senate) and Peter Hammen, Cornell Dypski, Carolyn Krysiak (House); 47th, George Della (Senate), Brian McHale, Tim Murphy (House-47A).
1% Tomorrow: Legislative District 34