3 Democrats know area is conservative 5th District House race pits 6 with similar beliefs 5th DISTRICT HOUSE OF DELEGATES RACE CAMPAIGN 1994

November 06, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

Two of the three Democrats in the race for District 5 House of Delegate seats call themselves conservatives, the third says she's a moderate.

They all say they want state government to run more efficiently and will work to attract business to Maryland and be tough on criminals.

On many issues, their positions match those of the three Republicans in the race. The Democrats say they reflect the conservative nature of Carroll County.

"You want to make sure you're conservative in this county," said Richard N. Dixon, 56, of Westminster, an investment stockbroker and the only incumbent in the race.

Mr. Dixon, who is seeking his fourth term in the House, prides himself on being a fiscal conservative and noted that he co-sponsored legislation in Annapolis this year with Baltimore County Del. Ellen R. Sauerbrey, the Republican candidate for governor.

Ellen L. Willis, 46, of Westminster said she has been characterized as the most liberal candidate in the race, but said she considers herself moderate.

The former small-business owner is the director of business and industry training at Carroll Community College. She ran for a District 5A seat in 1990 and lost.

The third Democrat, Philip R. Deitchman, 36, of Eldersburg, described himself as more conservative than Mr. Dixon and said he would be able to work well with Mrs. Sauerbrey would both be elected.

He and his wife, Heidi, own a home-based consulting company and sell health insurance and consumer electronic products. In 1986, he ran for a District 5B seat and lost.

Three Democrats and three Republicans are vying for three House seats in Tuesday's election.

Mr. Dixon was the top vote-getter in the September primary. He received 6,186 votes and won all election districts. Ms. Willis placed second with 5,335 votes. Mr. Deitchman received 3,211 votes.


If re-elected, Mr. Dixon will be the senior member of the Carroll delegation. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

He is in line to chair the committee's Capital Budget Subcommittee, said Del. Timothy F. Maloney, a Prince George's Democrat who has held the position since 1986 and is retiring from the legislature this year.

"Richard Dixon is everybody's choice to assume a larger role in both the capital and operating budgets," he said.

Mr. Dixon is a vice president with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith in Baltimore. He has been instrumental in persuading state officials to provide money for Carroll schools and other projects.

He talked with Gov. William Donald Schaefer several times during the last legislative session to persuade him to allocate money to build Oklahoma Road Middle School to alleviate crowding at Sykesville Middle. In exchange, he helped the governor pass a few bills that were important to him.

"That's called politics," Mr. Dixon said.

In the last legislative session, Mr. Dixon introduced bills to abolish parole for criminals; make a life sentence mandatory for anyone convicted of certain violent crimes; and require district, circuit and appellate judges to be elected.

He said the state should build more prisons, but locate them in the areas where most prisoners live and they should not be "a pleasant place to go."

He said he plans to introduce for the third time a bill that would require insurance companies to send a plaintiff in a winning lawsuit a copy of the settlement so the plaintiff's attorney cannot cheat him or her.


Even though she would be a first-time legislator, Ms. Willis said she would not be unknown in the General Assembly because she has worked in the Democratic Party for 20 years.

"I have a lot of ties in Annapolis. I don't feel I would go there as a raw freshman," she said.

She has issued one-page position papers on four major issues -- efficient government, economic development, education and public safety -- and she said she would focus on these areas if elected.

Ms. Willis said she would bring a strong business background to the job. She is a former owner/manager of Westminster Stationery and Office Supply and Forget Me Not Ltd.

At the community college, she coordinates programs to help local businesses train workers.

Ms. Willis said she wants to increase the state's tax base by attracting more business. To do that, the state needs to eliminate regulations that are duplicated at the federal and local levels, she said.

Ms. Willis also said the state should consider eliminating the tax collected when a car's registration is transferred to Maryland.

The state also could offer selected new businesses a break on their real estate taxes for a certain period, she said.

A strong educational system is important to economic development, she said.

"We've got to figure out a way to educate all the children in the state. If we don't, we won't be able to attract business," Ms. Willis said. "It's a responsibility all citizens share."

She also wants to work to help agriculture remain a viable industry by offering research money through the University of Maryland.

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