Jefferies for Senate in 44th Sun endorsements: Jones, McCarthy, Fisher backed for House, but east side's 45th lacks challengers.

August 12, 1998

THE OUSTER of Sen. Larry Young over ethics violations produced a political free-for-all in the 44th Legislative District. With his appointed fill-in, John D. Jefferies, and Del. Clarence M. Mitchell IV dueling to succeed Mr. Young in the Senate, only one House incumbent is seeking re-election. Whatever happens Sept. 15, the district's delegation will include at least two novices. This is welcomed. The 44th, which straddles east and west portions of the inner city, badly needs more diligent representation.

In the Senate race, our support goes to Mr. Jefferies, 70, an assistant secretary of licensing in the Glendening administration. is not flashy or demagogic like Mr. Mitchell. We believe he will provide steadier and more prudent leadership than Mr. Mitchell, a 48-year-old bail bondsman who spared no effort last year in trying to torpedo the necessary restructuring of city schools.

The House candidates most able to provide solid representation are housing activist Verna Jones, 42; Anthony W. McCarthy, 30, community affairs director for Church Hospital-Helix Health; and social worker Arlene Fisher, 49. They have our endorsement.

In the 45th District, the collapse of the Eastside Forum, main rival to the ruling Eastside Democratic Organization, has left the incumbents without vigorous challenge. This is not healthy. Lethargy and cronyism creep in when the same gaggle of politicians holds a tight rein on everything from community development corporations to the mayor's station.

Doris Minor-Terrell, the incumbent delegates' sole opponent, is campaigning against such a power monopoly. But the 51-year-old special education teacher, short of money and helpers, has little chance of defeating the EDO steamroller. With some reluctance, we recommend Delegates Talmadge Branch, Clarence Davis and Hattie N. Harrison.

Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden has three opponents. Among them, Aaron Keith Wilkes, a 31-year-old investment firm employee, shows considerable promise. But Mr. McFadden deserves renomination.

)Tomorrow: Districts 46 and 47.

Pub Date: 8/12/98

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