Habern W. Freeman has been a major player and a popular politician in Harford County public affairs for two decades. After two terms as county executive, he defeated Harford political icon William S. James in 1990 for the state Senate seat in District 34.
Since then, however, Mr. Freeman has virtually disappeared, choosing to become a maverick's maverick and estranging himself from the county's delegation. This independent, lone-wolf attitude has not helped Harford County's efforts to secure state aid. Even when he has made credible proposals on important issues, such as school board reform or legislative scholarships, Mr. Freeman has not cultivated support at home or in Annapolis to carry his ideas to fruition.
We prefer David S. Craig, a moderate Republican first-term delegate, for the District 34 Senate seat. He has learned well over the past four years, and has been a team player for Harford. As a minority party freshman, he did not make a major splash. He shares many of the stop-taxes, cut-spending ideas of Mr. Freeman, but Mr. Craig, who also served as a councilman and mayor of Havre de Grace during the '80s, promises to be a more effective senator.
In the House of Delegates, incumbent Democrats Rose Mary Hatem Bonsack and Mary Louise Preis have proven to be valuable legislators in their first terms. Mrs. Preis was a key vote in assault-pistol control and helped shape bills on domestic violence and crime. Dr. Bonsack, a retired physician, has been influential on health care matters and environmental issues, while proving her leadership in guiding the county legislative delegation for two years.
For the third seat, we endorse Democrat B. Daniel Riley, a school teacher with a long resume of environmental and community volunteer efforts. Although he has never held elective office, his civic activity should serve him well in Annapolis. Mr. Riley's main flaw is that he readily takes positions on complicated global issues, such as disposal methods for chemical weapons, while avoiding stands on some key local issues, such as police management.
For District 34 seats, we endorse Mr. Craig, Dr. Bonsack, Mrs. Preis and Mr. Riley.
Tomorrow: Legislative District 35.