Incumbents merit nod in 42, 43 Sun endorsements: Rosenberg, Campbell, McIntosh, Hoffmann

Conway, Dobson, Doory, Montague.

August 11, 1998

INCUMBENCY CAN be a potent election asset. Just look at the 42nd Legislative District.

In the four years since that northwestern city district was reconstituted to include parts of Baltimore County, Democratic delegates Samuel I. Sandy Rosenberg, James W. Campbell and Maggie McIntosh have so solidified their position they have no primary opposition. They have done a good job, too.

So has Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, by and large. A three-term veteran, the head of the powerful Budget and Taxation Committee deserves another term, despite showing poor judgment in sponsoring an administrator who is now under indictment in a city liquor board scandal.

Her opponent, Elinor Hoffman Kerpelman, raises valid concerns about ethics and neighborhood issues, but lacks ample political background and experience.

Northeast Baltimore's 43rd District, where African Americans have become a solid majority, illustrates how political transition can occur independent of elections.

That transition got under way in December 1996, when Joan Carter Conway became the district's first black senator after John A. Pica resigned. She is unopposed.

Further change occurred in February, when Del. Gerald J. Curran, a 31-year veteran, resigned and was succeeded by Democratic Central Committee member Michael V. Dobson.

Political representation between elections came to more closely reflect the district's ethnic composition, with African Americans occupying the Senate seat and two delegates' seats.

The 43rd is a refreshing rarity, though, on the subject of race and politics. Black and white political groups work together.

Though incumbent delegates have challengers, race does not seem to be a bone of contention.

The most active of the three challengers is Pat Gorman, a 55-year-old social worker and community leader. She is a quality candidate who would do well in Annapolis.

But because virtually no difference of opinion divides her and the incumbents on the issues, we endorse Mr. Dobson as well as Ann Marie Doory and Kenneth C. Montague Jr.

The latter two have represented the 43rd well since 1986.

Tomorrow: Districts 44 and 45.

Pub Date: 8/11/98

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