Limited choices in District 32 Sun endorsements: Only contest is for House Democrats, where we favor Love, Sophocleus and Sulin.

August 13, 1998

LEGISLATIVE District 32 in Anne Arundel County is hardly a hotbed of intrigue next month.

Republican voters have no contested races in the primary for the state legislature. Sen. Edward Middlebrooks is unopposed. And for three seats in the House of Delegates, incumbents Michael W. Burns and James E. Rzepkowski will represent the GOP with Betty Ann O'Neill, a former staffer on the Congressional Ways and Means Committee.

Democrats, too, have no contested Senate race. County Councilman James E. DeGrange Sr. is running alone for the nomination.

The only selection for Democrats is among the four candidates running for three House seats.

One of them, incumbent Mary Ann Love, focused on health and insurance matters during her first term.

She helped pass legislation to allow HMO participants to use emergency services without prior authorization. She also worked legislation to increase penalties on insurance companies when they unfairly deny claims.

A moderate Democrat, Ms. Love seems attentive to constituent interests -- going to bat against an insurer for a homeowner whose siding was damaged by hail, or for an elderly person having problems with a health insurance provider. She deserves another term.

Victor A. Sulin, a lawyer and Anne Arundel County employee, is running to regain the seat he held from 1990 to 1994 but lost in the GOP tide that swept the county. He understands the workings of the legislature and merits one of the three Democratic slots.

Theodore J. Sophocleus has been in fixture in Anne Arundel politics for more than three decades. He served two terms on the County Council, from 1982-1990.

In 1993, he was appointed to fill the seat in the House of Delegates of Tyrus S. "Bunk" Athey, who became secretary of state. He lost twice for county executive, in 1990 and 1994.

A former pharmacist, Mr. Sophocleus is versed in many of the health policy issues the legislature must address.

He also understands the relationship between state and county government, particularly on fiscal issues.

The fourth candidate, Eric R. Hirtle, a construction supervisor, is a political novice. To win, he needs more seasoning, particularly on community issues.

B6 We endorse Ms. Love, Mr. Sulin and Mr. Sophocleus.

Tomorrow: Legislative District 33.

Pub Date: 8/13/98

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