The power of incumbency is not to be denied, but it shouldn't be automatically raised as the primary reason to return the same candidates to office in election after election.
But incumbent legislators who have proven that they can be effective, that their experience is beneficial and that their grasp of issues is comprehensive, do deserve re-election.
That is the case in Legislative District 35, where we endorse Sen. William H. Amoss and Delegates James M. Harkins and Donald C. Fry for another term.
Mr. Amoss, a Democrat, has ably represented northern Harford County in the General Assembly since 1975, the past three terms as senator whose district also includes western Cecil County. While he is not in the top leadership of that body, he is a subcommittee chairman of the important Budget and Taxation Committee. He has been a voice for responsible spending and tax policies, and an energetic advocate for Harford County.
His two opponents, Republican Gwendalynne Corkran and Independent Catharine Wilson, claim that he has been in the legislature too long. But these first-time candidates do not have the credentials to replace him. Contrary to their assertions, Mr. Amoss, an auctioneer and appraiser, is certainly not a tax-and-spend Democrat.
In District 35A, Harford County's part of the shared district with Cecil, Democrat Fry and Republican Harkins have done good jobs in their freshman terms. They've fought hard for Harford projects, while adopting a fiscally conservative stance on the budget.
Mr. Fry, a lawyer, can be expected to work effectively within the majority party to curb spending through his seat on the Appropriations Committee and push for greater efficiencies in government. Mr. Harkins, a sergeant with the county sheriff's office, provided valuable insight into important criminal justice issues.
The other candidates are Democrat Joseph V. Lutz, a former delegate and computer salesman, and James F. Greenwell, a Republican machine tool builder making his first run for public office. While they espouse similar views on welfare reform and budget control as the incumbents, we believe the district would be better served by Messrs. Amoss, Fry and Harkins.